Source: Huawei

Huawei has announced that its flagship Kirin 990 5G chipset will be available soon in India. The Kirin 990 5G has over 10.3 billion transistors and there’s also has a regular 4G variant with around 8.0 billion transistors that will be available in select markets. The Mate 30-series phones, that will go official on September 19, will be the first ones to include the new chipset. 

The Kirin 990 5G chip is based on TSMC’s latest 7nm+ EUV process that enables the chipset to have smaller die sizes for complex constructions (the Kirin 990 5G still has the largest die size for Kirin chips launched in the last few years). 

The Kirin 990 4G variant is based on the relatively older 7nm process. 

Huawei Kirin 990 5G and Kirin 990 Specs

Models Krin 990 5G Kirin 990 4G Kirin 980
CPU 2x Cortex A76 @2.86G

2x Cortex A76 @2.36G

4x Cortex A55 @1.95G

2x Cortex A76 @2.86G

2x Cortex A76 @2.09G

4x Cortex A55 @1.86G

4x Cortex A76 @2.60G

4x Cortex A55 @1.80G

GPU 16xG76 @700M 16xG76 @700M 10xG76 @750M
NPU 2 + 1 Da Vinci 1 + 1 Da Vinci 2 Cambricon
Modem Balong 5G 4G 4G
DRAM LPDDR4-4266 LPDDR4-4266 LPDDR4-4266
Die Size >100 mm2 ~90 mm2 74.13 mm2
Transistor 10.3b ~8.0b 6.9b

What makes Kirin 990 5G Unique?

Most 5G chipsets that we have today are standard chips with an extra 5G modem stacked on top. The Kirin 990 5G is the first chip that integrates the Balong 5000 5G modem on the same die, which should result in better efficiency and lower power consumption while running 5G. 

And the 5G modem it integrates is among the first ones to support both SA (Stand Alone, for true 5G) and NSA (Non Stand Alone, for 5G-like upgraded 4G)  5G architecture (Exynos Modem 5100 being the other one).

Also Read: Samsung will make Snapdragon 865 on its more efficient 7nm EUV process

What else?

Both Kirin 990 chipsets have 2 x Cortex A76 cores clocked at high frequency, 2 x Cortex A76 cores clocked at a middle frequency, and 4 Cortex A55 cores for handling less demanding tasks.  

The Kirin 990 5G also features a larger 16 core Mali-G76 GPU and gives a lot of consideration to improving graphics performance. Huawei’s ‘Smart Cache’ also helps improve graphics performance (as well as CPU and NPU performance). 

Another major upgrade is the NPU. The neural processing unit on Kirin 990 5G is based on Da Vinci architecture and will add an extra Tiny NPU core, apart from the 2 BIG cores (2+1). The Tiny core can take care of lighter ML tasks and will help with improving power efficiency. The NPU on the 4G Kirin 990 variant will have a (1+1) design. 

Huawei has added a new ISP that works with AI. At the briefing, the company talked about an interesting application of ISP working with AI where a Huawei phone could tell blood pressure by just clicking an image. The ISP also features block-matching and 3D filtering (BM3D) professional-level hardware noise reduction (NR) for brighter images. 

“As one of Huawei’s key markets, Customer-centric innovation is at the heart of everything we do in India. We have always believed in bringing the very best to our consumers by continuously focusing on innovation and making the experience better, every single time. The Kirin 990 is the very pinnacle of smartphone technology today and will leapfrog consumers into a new era of 5G. We are glad to announce a chipset that will revolutionize the way people use their smartphones.” said Tornado Pan, country manager (Huawei Brand), Consumer Business.


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