As is tradition, Huawei has taken advantage of its conference at IFA 2019 to officially present the Kirin 990, a high-end SoC that, in this generation, stands out for the inclusion of a 5G modem in the chip itself and a processing unit dedicated to artificial intelligence even more powerful than that of the Kirin 980.
Huawei manufacture two different versions of the Kirin 990: one with 4G connectivity and another, slightly more advanced, with an integrated Balong 5G modem. Other relatively modern processors such as the Exynos 9825 or Snapdragon 855 are already compatible with 5G connectivity, but require that, on the motherboard of the device, a separate modem be installed. The new Kirin 990 5G, on the other hand, integrates this component into the SoC itself, reducing both energy consumption and the space occupied inside the telephone. In addition, this new modem is compatible with the 5G NSA and SA networks, so that, in the future, it will be able to operate on any version of the network unlike the commercially available 5G modems to date.
The new Kirin 990 with 5G, in addition to including this connectivity, also has a more powerful NPU.
The other difference between the Kirin 990 with 5G and its 4G version is found in the NPU, also known as a neural processing unit. While the 4G model integrates a single processing core, the 5G version raises this figure to two cores, allowing you to process any task related to artificial intelligence with greater speed. Both NPUs, that is, benefit from the new Da Vinci architecture, more effective and capable than the Cambricon design used in previous models of the brand.
The two NPUs also integrate a new auxiliary core (low consumption) that processes the simplest artificial intelligence tasks. In this way, the high-performance core or the two high-performance cores, in the case of the Kirin 990 with 5G, is only activated against the most demanding tasks, thus reducing the energy consumption of the NPU as a whole.
Huawei P30 Pro.
On the other hand, the central processing unit (CPU) of the Kirin 990 It is composed of three different clsters. The first, high performance, has two Cortex A76 cores running at 2.86 GHz; the second, intermediate performance, integrates two Cortex A76 cores at a frequency of 2.36 GHz; and the third, of lower performance but low consumption, renews four Cortex A55 cores at a frequency of 1.95 GHz. Thanks to this distribution, the Chinese giant can optimize energy consumption and activate a cluster or another depending on the demands of the user.
The graphics processing unit (GPU) also It has undergone significant improvements. The base model is exactly the same as we saw in the Kirin 980: a Mali G76. However, the number of cores has increased to 16 and their maximum frequency has been significantly reduced to 700 MHz.
The new NPU is 150% more powerful than the one integrated in the Kirin 980.
All the changes detailed above result, according to the manufacturer, in the following improvements over the previous generation:
- A 9% improvement in mononcleo processing (CPU).
- A 10% improvement in multicore processing (CPU).
- A 12% improvement in the energy efficiency of the low consumption (CPU) cores.
- A 35% improvement in the energy efficiency of the intermediate processing cores (CPU).
- A 15% improvement in the energy efficiency of high performance cores (CPU).
- In the case of the Kirin 990 with 5G, the neural processing unit (NPU) is 150% faster than that of the Kirin 980. The improvement is 100% compared to Apple's A12 Bionic, according to the manufacturer.
The family Huawei Mate 30 being the first to make use of the Kirin 990 and possibly also his version with 5G. The official announcement of these phones will take place on September 19 in the city of Mnich (Germany).