In typical Huawei fashion, their new flagship Kirin 990 processor was announced a couple of weeks ahead of the upcoming Huawei Mate 30 series.

The new Kirin 990 5G is built on a 7nm+ EUV process and comes with a built-in 5G connectivity with the integration of the Balong modem. It’s the latest processor to come with 5G that doesn’t need a separate 5G modem, second to Samsung’s Exynos 980 processor.


Just like most new processors, the updated build will promise better efficiency and more powerful performance. It’s said to have 20% performance and 30% efficiency improvements over the Kirin 980, which is we’re now seeing on a sub-Php20k smartphone.

Huawei’s new flagship chipset will come in two flavors. The non-5G Kirin 990 model will have two 2.86GHz Cortex-A76 cores, two 2.09GHz Cortex-A76, and four 1.86GHz Cortex-A55 cores. On the other hand, the 5G model bumps up the clock speeds of the secondary Cortex-A76 and Cortex-A55 cores to 2.36GHz and 1.95GHz, respectively.


The Kirin 990 5G has non-standalone and standalone support, which means that it can seamlessly transition between 5G, 4G, 3G, and even 2G depending on their availability. Huawei also claims that it has a whopping 2.3Gbps and 1.25Gbps theoretical peak download and upload speeds, respectively.

There’s also the NPU (Neural Processing Unit) for all the AI-related tasks used for face recognition,  performance efficiency, and more.


On the GPU side, the Kirin 990 chips is rigged with a Mali-G76 MC16 graphics card that has 30% better performance and 46% improved battery efficiency.

The new processors also has support for UFS 3.0 fast storage, the latest standard in mobile storage. Huawei also put the new ISP 5.0 for improved photo and video processing, LPDDR 4X memory support, HiFi audio, and a security engine.

We shall experience the Kirin 990’s marvels once we see it in the Huawei Mate 30, which will be released in the coming weeks.

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