Huawei debuts Kirin 990 5G chipset to run Mate 30 smartphone

Huawei claimed its new 7nm Kirin 990 5G chipset outperforms competitors like the S855 from Qualcomm. (Huawei)

Huawei unveiled its latest Kirin 990 5G chipset at the IFA consumer show in Berlin on Friday to power the upcoming Mate 30 smartphone, a potential competitor to future Apple iPhones.

In a keynote presentation available via webcast, Huawei’s Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu showed several slides comparing the new chip to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855, which was introduced in late 2018. The CPU power of the Kirin 990 5G is both more powerful than the S855 and its GPU is 20% more power efficient when displaying graphics, his slides claimed.

The Kiron 990 5G chipset incorporates the 5G modem and was built on a space-saving 7nm architecture that could help lower the cost of smartphones. Its CPU is made up of two 2X Cortex-A76 chips and a 4x Cortex-ASS. The GPU has 16 cores.

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The Huawei presentation at IFA was especially significant this year for its implied defiance of U.S. trade policy, which has put Huawei purchases on an entity blacklist for U.S. companies. More than 130 U.S. companies are appealing the entity ruling with the U.S. Department of Commerce to continue to sell $11 billion in chips and electronics to the telecommunications and consumer electronics giant on an annual basis.

RELATED: U.S. gets more than 130 license requests to sell to blacklisted Huawei

The entity list restrictions by the U.S. means that Huawei can’t license Google services on the new Mate 30 phones, but Huawei reportedly intends to rely on an open-source version of Android instead, according to an unnamed source in a CNBC report

An international launch of the Mate 30 is expected on Sept. 19.

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