Huawei announced the new generation of flagship Kirin chipset at the IFA in Berlin. According to Huawei, the new chip has become 20 percent more powerful, more energy-efficient and supports 4K video at 60fps.
Huawei Kirin 990
Huawei CEO Richard Yu has announced not one but two new Kirin 990 processor on his keynote at the IFA. One chip called Kirin 990 5G will come with 5G support and the other one will come without 5G support. The chip will be found in the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro. We don’t know if Huawei will also launch a 5G version of the Mate 30 or include the Kirin 990 5G in the Mate 30 Pro. These smartphones will be announced in Munich on September 19.
The previous Kirin chip, the 980, was the first with two built-in Neural Network Processing Units (NPUs). These are two processors that specifically take on the computing power required for applications with artificial intelligence (AI). Besides, the Kirin 980 was also the first chip to be manufactured according to a 7-nanometer architecture.
5G Moden and 4K Video
The Kirin 990 builds on this with TSMC’s updated 7-nanometer plus EUV process, whereby the number of transistors could be increased by 20 percent. The Kirin 990 is equipped with 8 calculation cores, including 2 large and 2 smaller ARM Cortex-A76 cores operating at 2.86 GHz and 2.36 GHz, respectively, and 4 smaller ARM Cortex-A55 cores, at 1.95 GHz. As a result, according to Huawei, energy consumption is 24 times better and the performance is generally faster than its predecessor. Also, this chipset supports 4K videos with a frame rate of 60 frames per second (fps).
Furthermore, a 5G modem is built into the Kirin 990 5G. This means there will be no separate 5G modem necessary which was the case with the Huawei Mate 20X. Huawei says the 5G modem can offer a maximum download speed of 2.3Gbps, and a maximum upload speed of 1.25Gbps, alongside eight ARM Cortex CPU cores. According to Huawei, the single-chip design should also result in better power consumption
The 990 5G also packs a 16-core Mali G76 graphics processor which should provide exceptional power for mobile gaming. The new SoC comes with a big dual-core NPU which is responsible for tasks like face and voice recognition. The NPU also helps with scene detection in the camera app.
Kirin 990 also includes a 5th-generation image signal processor which according to Huawei offers a DSLR level noise reduction technology. This is the most interesting part of the processor for me. Huawei already has quite exceptional cameras in its flagship phones. I would be interesting to see how much further can this new SoC affect camera performance.
We will see how great this CPU is when Huawei launches the Mate 30 series of phones later this month.