The new Kirin 990 chipset will be featured in the foldable Huawei Mate X

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Yanmin Wang, president of CEE, Nordic and Canadian Regions of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, confirmed that the company’s Kirin 990 chip would be coming in the next foldable, the Huawei Mate X. 

“Yes, it’s coming very soon,” said Wang. It was learned that the Mate X won’t launch in September, with its release date was pushed back to November.

When the phone was first announced, Huawei said it was coming with the Kirin 980 chipset that first announced in the Huawei Mate.

In other words, it makes sense that the company cutting-edge foldable would pack the strongest processor. Given Huawei’s precedent of release modulation, we expect the Huawei Mate 30 to launch with the Kirin 990 as well, and the same is likely to be the case with the yet to be confirmed Huawei P40.

Reasons for this vary: we learned that the joint was slightly filtered in versions following the model shown off at MWC 2019 in March, but given how little 5G networks have been built out.

That’s because, the Kirin 990 is 5G-compatible, with a 5G modem integrated on the chip, Yanmin Wang.

Kirin 990 and 5G

A Huawei Central report declared that Huawei will introduce two Kirin 990 processors at IFA 2019: the main processor and its 5G-compatible variant.

The Kirin 990 will be 7nm with a lower power utilization than the Kirin 980 and support for all of the “mainstream” 5G formats, Yanmin Wang said.

But this was not stated clearly whether this included both high-frequency 30GHz to 300GHz millimetre wave and lower-frequency formats, which don’t deliver as fast of speeds but have more coverage area. 

In the last five years, China has spent $180 billion in installing around 350,000 5G-operable base stations, heavily favouring lower-frequency 3- and 4-GHz bands. It’s not clear that how much of this infrastructure Huawei built, though Huawei declared to have up to a 50% share of the country’s 5G equipment market per the South China Morning Post. 

Ergo, we don’t yet know if the “mainstream” 5G bands the Mate X will support will work with both mm-Wave and sub-6, though it will at least work with the Chinese smartphone market. 

In addition to the Mate X, the Kirin 990 will come to Huawei’s high-end phones in 2020, Yanmin Wang said.

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