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Huawei's Kirin 990 is a beastly SoC with built-in 5G

By nanoguy ยท 6 replies
Sep 7, 2019
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  1. With all the talk about Huawei being caught in the middle of a trade crossfire between China and the US, you might imagine that it isn't doing that well. Yet the Chinese company seems firmly anchored in the second place among the world's top five largest phone makers, and still has enough fire in its labs to launch new silicon just in time for an IFA announcement.

    The newest chip to come from its HiSilicon subsidiary is the Kirin 990, which promises to be the fastest of its kind on the market as well as the most power efficient mobile platform for high-end devices. The biggest highlight is the integrated 5G modem, beating Qualcomm and Samsung to the market on the premium segment. While it doesn't support the faster, mmWave 5G, it does support sub-6Ghz 5G at up to 2.3 Gbps for downlink and 1.25 Gbps for uplink.

    The Kirin 990 was designed using the same 7 nanometer EUV lithography process as its predecessor and has over 10 billion transistors. In terms of architecture, it is comprised of two high performance Cortex-A76 cores, two medium performance cores, and four power efficient cores running at 2.86 Ghz, 2.36 Ghz, and 1.95 Ghz, respectively. For graphics there's a 16-core Mali G76 GPU with built-in cache that should manage a 6 percent performance leap over the Adreno 640 found in Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855.

    Photography enthusiasts already praise the Mate 20 Pro's camera, and Huawei says the Kirin 990 features an improved dual image signal processor that is 15 percent more energy efficient and can achieve "DSLR-level" pictures and videos. Of course, it's just referring to a host of algorithms that perform advanced, "Block Match 3D" noise reduction.

    Perhaps more interesting is the neural processing unit, which is a coprocessor optimized for machine learning frameworks like Google's TensorFlow. Huawei says it can automatically distribute workloads like voice recognition, computer vision, and natural language understanding across its heterogeneous computing architecture.

    The Kirin 990 is expected to land on Huawei's Mate 30 lineup, set to be unveiled at a London event later this month. The company says there will also be a 4G-only variant for mid-range devices that is otherwise identical.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Nobodysfool

    Nobodysfool TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +28

    Now that I read Qualcomm's making a 5G-capable midrange chipsets, Huawei should compete by expanding 5G support to their midrange Kirin 810.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,710   +4,047

    "With all the talk about Huawei being caught in the middle of a trade crossfire between China and the US, you might imagine that it isn't doing that well."

    As I recall, what started it was the exposure by MI6, NSA, and our CIA that their chips were designed to allow Chinese intelligence to easily access the phones. The trade wars are an entirely different subject and just for the record, none of the wider variety intelligence communities have given them a a clean bill of health. Lots and lots of hype from Huawei but nothing more.

    I like the technology but not if it comes with those kinds of strings attached so I'll stick with my old fashion Motorola and the legal protections that come with it. (ie: they must first acquire a Federal Warrant to tap the phone AND use any information for the purpose of prosecution). Not a lot or radical stuff going on during bridge night ..... LOL
  4. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 637   +411

    But just imagine trusting the US intel agencies over the Chinese ones, and then still believing that they even need a warrant or that you have any legal protections at all against Langley.
    TempleOrion and GregonMaui like this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,710   +4,047

    Don't need to imagine at all .... I've been in Federal Courts and see extreme cases dismissed for lack of a Federal Judge authorized search warrant; even saw one where the sitting Federal Judge threw out a FISA court authorized search warrant because the sitting judge disagreed with the "necessity" of a FISA warrant ..... the times, they are a changing!
  6. mbk34

    mbk34 TS Member Posts: 40

    "a 6 percent performance leap"

    Is Huawei writing for you now? That sort of performance leap used to be called margin for error.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  7. Markoni35

    Markoni35 TS Addict Posts: 325   +136

    Your phone conversations are being stored to the disks in datacenters belonging to your ISP. If you become interesting to someone for whatever reason, they will scan your conversations for keywords and extract whatever info they need. If they find what they want, then they'll find a way to get a proper search warrant.

    But... you don't need to worry about the government. People working for your telecom could be your neighbors. And not those you're in good relations with. They could be listening to your conversations just for fun. Without needing a warrant. And maybe they also get some interesting info to start gossips. You never know what bored people do with the info.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.

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