Huawei unveils new high-performance processor family (Topic)

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Huawei unveils new high-performance processor family


The Chinese company has unveiled a new generation of Kirin processors, which it plans to equip its future flagships with. The new Kirin 990 family has received premium features, and its top modification has integrated support for the latest 5G networks. The elder Kirin 990 5G even managed to bypass the high-performance Snapdragon 855 in some respects. According to the Geekbench benchmark, the new Huawei chip showed better computing speed, more powerful video subsystem, and also scored more points in energy efficiency.

5G processor for top smartphones

Compared to another top-end chip, the Kirin 980, which has become the basis of all premium Huawei gadgets from the fall of 2018 to the last moment, the new 990 and 990 5G outperform it in many ways. Therefore, in the question of which Kirin processor is better, the newcomers have surpassed its predecessor. Interestingly, the Kirin 990, as well as its version with an integrated 5G module, became the first owners of the Mali G76 MP16 on the market - 16-core graphics with an operating frequency of 700 MHz.

Both the 980 and the latest 990 are made using 7nm technology, but the eight-core Kirin 980 has only two clusters into which the cores are divided, while the 2019 processors have as many as three, moreover, with higher rates frequencies.


The new Kirin 990 5G received a proprietary Balong 5000 modem manufactured by Huawei. The company first demonstrated it in early 2019, and in test tests, the maximum download speed of the modem turned out to be 3.29 Gbps. Inside the chipset, the manufacturer's declared speeds for receiving and transmitting data are 2.3 and 1.25 Gbps, respectively.

Using 5G NSA and SA standards, the modem can also successfully interoperate with earlier generations of networks, for example, GSM or 3G. In addition, to ensure a stable signal, an integrated neurochip is present inside the processor, which is responsible for timely channel switching when receiving signals are disturbed.

Key Features

The presented 8-core Kirin processors based on 7nm process technology have three clusters of cores. The manufacturer explains this decision by concern for energy efficiency. The first of them includes the two most powerful Cortex A76 overclocked to 2.86 GHz, then there are two more cores, but with reduced rates of 2.09 GHz. Finally, the remaining four cores (1.86 GHz) form the third energy efficient group.

The aforementioned dual-core neuroprocessor in the new Kirin 990 chipset is involved in performing tasks of various difficulty levels. So, the large core of the neuroprocessor helps in various resource-intensive operations, being responsible for maintaining performance and energy efficiency at a high level. A smaller kernel is used for small operations of medium complexity.


Huawei's senior processor, model 990 5G, is built using a special 7nm + EUV standard. According to the developers, its functions allow the processor to occupy a smaller volume of the motherboard when compared with the same flagship Snapdragon 855. In turn, the characteristics of two of the three clusters of cores in the Kirin 990 with 5G support are increased. If the first cluster retains the same indicator of 2.86 GHz, then in the second the core frequency is increased to 2.36 GHz (instead of 2.09 GHz), and in the third - to 1.95 GHz. Model 990 5G also has a built-in neuroprocessor, however, it already includes three auxiliary cores - a pair of large and one small.

The Topic of Article: Huawei unveils new high-performance processor family.
Author: Jake Pinkman