Huawei Intros Kirin 990 5G Chip, “New” P30 Pro, and More at IFA 2019 Opening Keynote
For someone who’s known to go off-script and make some fiery remarks about competitors and foreign governments, Huawei CEO Richard Yu was notably subdued in his Opening Keynote here at IFA 2019 in Berlin. At a time when the company is facing extreme challenges by the U.S. government—companies in the States have been banned for doing work with or providing components or software access to Huawei—the timing was ripe for Yu to take a few swipes at its challengers.
Instead, Yu stayed on point, and delivered an otherwise calm, but characteristically boastful keynote presentation that included several new product introductions.
Highlighting the event was Huawei’s new Kirin 990 5G chipset. Most impressive here is the fact that Huawei has managed to build a 5G modem directly into the Kirin 990 chip, which is a space-saving move that will allow the company to dedicate more internal space to battery life and other advancements in future flagship phones. By comparison, other flagship and 5G devices typically feature a processor alongside a separate modem.
The 7nm processor will reportedly offer download speeds of up to 2.3Gbps and upload speeds of 1.25Gbps.
As for speed and the current lack of 5G support globally, Yu offered a few solutions. The Kirin 990 chip will not support mmWave 5G technology, opting instead to focus on the sub-6GHz variety of 5G wave technology—mmWave is mainly used in the U.S. where, obviously, Huawei isn’t currently selling devices. Further, the Kirin 990 5G will use Smart Uplink technology, which essentially uses 4G radios to help boost 5G performance (think something similar to LTE being used to boost WiFi performance) when the user is on the outer limits of a 5G covered area.
The Kirin 990 chip will first appear in the Huawei Mate 30, which is slated to be unveiled at an event in Munich on September 19. That phone, at launch, will be the first Huawei phone that won’t have access to Google’s suite of apps. The company recently detailed its plans to free itself of Android, but how well that Plan B succeed with consumers who’ve tied their digital lives to the Google-built platform is a major question mark.
Other Huawei Unveils
Beyond the news of the new Kirin 990 5G, Huawei had plenty of other new product news to announce at IFA 2019.
The company showed off a “new” P30 Pro, that is really a refresh of the current model with a few technical tweaks. As other outlets reported, this move was essentially done to ensure that Huawei could release a device with Android 10 without violating its ban from doing business with U.S. companies on new products.
The redesigned P30 pro will come in two colors—lavender and blue—that feature two-tone backs and run on the company’s currently available Kirin 980 chipset. It will also feature Huawei’s EMUI10 update, which is based on Android 10 and will be available in beta later this month. No pricing or launch details were shared during the keynote.
Yu also showed off his company’s new FreeBuds 3 true wireless headphones that feature Huawei’s new Kirin A1 chip, and Huawei’s WiFi Q2 Pro wireless router and network extenders. The WiFi system can support up to 15 add-on access points, ensuring plenty of coverage no matter the size of your flat or mansion.