Huawei may be at a crossroad with its mobile hardware and software following being cut-off from Android, but the company remains a player in mobile processing. Like Samsung, the company develops its own ARM CPUs, most of which are successful in Chinese smartphones. Huawei says the new Kirin 990 CPU is the most powerful chipset it has ever made.

While Qualcomm is the dominant mobile chipmaker, Kirin has found an increasing popularity. Not least because Huawei uses its proprietary silicon in its own smartphones. In terms of the Kirin 990, it was unveiled this week and will be available in 5G and LTE variants.

Huawei has been eager to talk up the performance capabilities of the Kirin 990:

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“Kirin 990 (5G) is the world’s first 5G System-on-a-Chip (SoC), and it will enable end-users to access superb 5G connectivity experience one step ahead in the first year of 5G commercialization,” Huawei Consumer Business CEO Richard Yu says.

“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.”

5G Power

As for the 5G version, the company says it’s the first 5G SoC in the world. It also has some other “first” accolades, such as being the first full-frequency 5G SoC, and the first mobile SoC will over 10 billion transistors.

Huawei says partner OEMs will be able to make smaller devices than manufacturers using Qualcomm alternatives because of the 990’s 7nm+ EUV process.

Compared to previous Kirin chipsets, the 990 series has 10 percent performance improvements. Huawei is likely to launch the Kirin 990 in its upcoming Mate 30 Pro.

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