Today at IFA 2019 in Berlin, Huawei has unveiled its next-generation silicon that will power its upcoming mobile products. The Kirin 990 5G is the world's first flagship 5G SoC and it will debut in the Huawei Mate 30 Pro — a product that likely won't ship with access to Google apps. A non-5G Kirin 990 will also come to other Huawei and Honor phones.

Built with a 7nm extreme ultraviolet lithography process, Huawei says its new integrated chip is smaller than Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 with X50 5G modem and will allow for more compact 5G smartphones. The Kirin 990 5G is the world's first mobile SoC with more than 10 billion transistors, and it'll be more efficient with power consumption. It's also the first full-frequency 5G SoC — it'll support both non-standalone and standalone architectures as well as TDD/FDD full frequency bands.

The mid-band 5G chip is capable of industry-leading peak downlink rates of 2.3Gbps and peak uplink of 1.25Gbps. It supports four sub-6 5G bands, but not millimeter wave. Huawei is betting big on AI smarts in its products, and the Kirin 990 5G comes with a dual-core NPU built on the Da Vinci architecture; Large cores for high performance and power efficiency plus small cores for ultra-low power applications. The CPU is apparently the most powerful ever, and consists of 2 ultra-large cores, 2 large, and four small, with a frequency up to 2.86GHz. A 16-core Mali G76 GPU is also on board and a Smart Cache flow distribution system should save bandwidth for when it's really needed.

To aid with mobile photography, a new fifth-generation Dual ISP boasts DSLR-level hardware noise reduction and block-matching and 3D filtering. Huawei's smartphone cameras already produce stunning low-light results, but it looks like that can be improved further. Dual-domain noise reduction will also be available for use on video production, as well as frame-by-frame AI color adjustment.

Huawei also announced a new wearables processor today in the Kirin A1 that will power the new FreeBuds 3 true wireless stereo earbuds. It's the world's first BT 5.1 and BLE 5.1 chip and comes with Huawei's isochronous dual channel Bluetooth tech that connects to both earbuds simultaneously.

Press Release

Huawei Unveils World’s First Flagship 5G SoC that will
Power HUAWEI Mate 30 Series

Berlin, Germany, September 6, 2019 – Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG), delivered a keynote speech titled "Rethink Evolution" at the IFA, and unveiled the latest flagship Kirin 990 series: Kirin 990 and its 5G version.

“Kirin 990 (5G) is the world's first 5G SoC, and it will enable end users to access superb 5G connectivity experience one step ahead in the first year of 5G commercialization.” said Richard. “To meet users’ requirements for enhanced 5G experiences in the 5G era, Kirin 990 (5G) has been fully upgraded in terms of performance and power efficiency, AI computing, and ISP, extending mobile phone experiences to a new level.”

Kirin 990, which was unveiled with Kirin 990 (5G), is also designed to bring impressively elevated performance, energy efficiency, AI capabilities, and photography, offering better experiences to a more extensive group of 4G smartphone users.

World’s First Flagship 5G SoC to Bring Ultra-fast 5G Connectivity

Huawei’s Kirin 990 (5G) is the first 5G SoC in the world and supports the industry's most compact 5G smartphone solution. With the cutting-edge 7 nm+ EUV manufacturing process, Kirin 990 (5G) is integrated with a 5G modem, achieving a smaller area and lower power consumption. Moreover, Kirin 990 (5G) is the first full-frequency 5G SoC to support both non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) architectures as well as TDD/FDD full frequency bands, enabling it to accommodate hardware requirements under diverse networks and networking modes. Based on Balong 5000’s excellent 5G connectivity capability, Kirin 990 (5G) provides a leading peak downlink rate of 2.3 Gbit/s and an uplink peak rate of 1.25 Gbit/s, delivering unmatched 5G experiences in the industry.

Innovative NPU Architecture for Robust AI Computing Power in the 5G Era

Kirin 990 (5G) is the first flagship SoC that packs a dual-core NPU built on the Da Vinci architecture, which comprise large NPU cores and tiny NPU cores. The large cores achieve high performance and power efficiency in heavy computing scenarios, while the tiny core structure, first in the industry, empowers ultra-low power consumption applications, fully tapping into the intelligent computing power brought by the innovative NPU architecture.

Premium Performance and Energy Efficiency Sets an Industry Benchmark for Faster 5G Experience

In terms of CPU, Kirin 990 features a three-level power efficiency structure, comprising of two ultra-large cores, two large cores, and four small cores, with a dominant frequency up to 2.86 GHz. In addition, Kirin 990 uses a 16-core Mali-G76 GPU and the new system-level Smart Cache for intelligent flow distribution, which can effectively save bandwidth and lower power consumption. For gaming experiences, Kirin 990 (5G) supports an upgraded Kirin Gaming+ 2.0 that enables efficient collaboration between hardware infrastructure and solutions, offering industry-leading smooth and fast gaming experience.

Newly Upgraded ISP 5.0 for Wonderful Photography Experience

As for photography, Kirin 990 (5G) provides a brand-new ISP 5.0 that pioneers block-matching and 3D filtering (BM3D) professional-level hardware noise reduction (NR) for capturing brighter and sharper images in low light environments. It is also the first to use dual-domain video NR for more accurate noise processing for videos. In addition, the real-time video post-processing and rendering based on AI segmentation can adjust the image color frame by frame to bring cinematic quality.