The Kirin 990 is the world’s first flagship 5G processor


Richard Yu took to the stage at IFA 2019 to unveil Huawei’s latest flagship Kirin 990 series. It consists of the Kirin 990, which brings elevated performance, AI computing and ISP alongside its 5G version.

Ultra-fast 5G connectivity

Huawei’s Kirin 990 (5G) is the industry’s most compact 5G smartphone solution. Its cutting-edge 7nm + EUV manufacturing process allows a 5G modem to be integrated within the SoC for lower power consumption, taking up less space.

Expect to see the new Kirin 990 on Huawei’s Mate 30 series

Furthermore, it supports both non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) architectures as well as TDD/FDD full-frequency bands. This means it will work in diverse networks and networking modes. As it is based on the Balong 5000, it brings excellent 5G connectivity with a downlink rate of 2.3 Gbit/s and an uplink peak rate of 1.25Gbit/s.

Robust AI computing

The SoC packs a dual-core NPU built on the Da Vinci architecture, which allows it to have both large and tiny NPU cores. In fact, it is the first flagship processor to do so. The large cores achieve high performance and power efficiency in heavy computing. On the contrary, the tiny core structure is an industry first that empowers ultra-low power consumption applications.

Premium performance

In terms of CPU, the Kirin 990 features a three-level power efficiency structure. It comprises of two ultra-large cores, two large cores and four small cores, with a dominant frequency of up 2.86GHz. Alongside, the processor uses a 16-core Mali G76 GPU and the new system-level smart cache for intelligent power and bandwidth management. For gaming, the Kirin 990 (5G) supports an upgraded Kirin Gaming+ 2.0, which offers industry-leading smooth an fast gaming experiences.

Newly upgraded ISP

For photography, the processor provides a brand-new ISP 5.0. It pioneers block-matching and 3D filtering professional-level hardware noise reduction in low-light environments. It’s also the first to use dual-domain video noise reduction for more accurate noise processing in videos.

How will the upgraded ISP impact real world performance?

Not only this, the real-time video post-processing and rendering based on AI segmentation can adjust the image colour frame by frame for cinematic quality.

When can you use it?

Huawei said its new Mate 30 series will equip the Kirin 990 processor. We are just two weeks away from its expected announcement event on September 19.


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