Huawei’s new Kirin mobile chip due in September, and it will be 5G-focused

Huawei will launch a new Kirin processor during the IFA 2019 trade show, which takes place in Berlin, Germany at the beginning of September. Huawei’s Kirin chips power many of its smartphones, with the Kirin 980 being the flagship version found inside the Huawei P30 Pro, along with several Honor phones including the Honor 20 Pro.

In a tweet shared on the Huawei Mobile Twitter account, the company writes, “Are you ready for 5G? It’s time to Rethink Evolution as the Huawei Kirin chipset launches us into the future.” The message is followed by the hashtag #HuaweiIFA2019. Several days ago, Huawei also shared the ‘Rethink Evolution’ phrase with a video revealing the date of its IFA 2019 presentation — September 6.

The Kirin 980 launched at IFA 2018, and is therefore ripe for replacement. The teaser messages from Huawei are interesting as they push a 5G aspect of the new chip, something the Kirin 980 doesn’t boast. The Kirin 980 is used in the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G, where it’s joined by Huawei’s Balong 5000 5G modem. Will the new chip be an integrated 5G chip? There are rumors Huawei will introduce two versions of the new processor, one with integrated 5G and the other without, for use in 4G LTE phones.

It’s expected the new Kirin will be called the Kirin 990, and will likely make its device debut in the Mate 30 series, which may be announced later in September or in October. After this, it’s also rumored to be used in the Mate X folding smartphone. The Mate X was announced with the Kirin 980 inside; but following delays it will now be upgraded to use the new chip, according to TechRadar. The Mate X will subsequently launch around November.

What will make the Kirin 990 special? Aside from the 5G hints, Huawei has not released any information on the processor. There are rumors the chip will support 4K video recording at 60fps, a step up from the 30fps recording possible with the Kirin 980. The Kirin 980 is made by Huawei’s semiconductor manufacturing arm HiSilicon, and will take on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and the Samsung Exynos 9825.

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