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Huawei to unveil the Kirin 990 at IFA2019

Huawei is having an event at IFA 2019 in Berlin. The Chinese smartphone maker has released a teaser video which confirms that they are launching the new Kirin 990 processor.

Similar to the previous teaser, it talks about “Rethink Evolution” and “5G” and the video ends with a Kirin logo. Of course, the biggest giveaway is the title of the video – “Huawei Kirin 990 Warm-up”.

The timing on the launch is consistent with the previous Kirin 970 and Kirin 980 SoC, which were also revealed at IFA. The Kirin 990 will be powering Huawei’s next flagship Mate 30 series which could be announced as early as the end of next month.

The biggest change for the Kirin 990 is the integration of a 5G modem. At the moment, its 5G powered smartphones such as the Mate 20 X and Mate X are using a separate Balong 5000 chip. However, it is also likely that Huawei might also introduce an LTE variant of the processor.

For the new Kirin 990, it is said to be based on a 7nm EUV manufacturing process which is similar to Samsung’s new Exynos 9825 chip. Apart from supporting 4K 60fps video recording, the new Kirin chip is expected to utilise a newer ARM Cortex-A77 CPU core as well as Mali-G77 GPU.

With AI being one of the key focus areas for Huawei, you can expect the device to feature a more powerful Neural Processing Unit (NPU). They recently introduced a self-developed Da Vinci architecture on the Kirin 810 which claims to deliver a higher AI performance than the Snapdragon 855 and Kirin 980.

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Alexander Wong