Huawei introduced the Kirin 980 chipset with AI features, and 1.4 Gbps download speeds in September. The platform made its way to the Mate 20 series and is likely to appear in the next-gen Huawei P flagships. Although the SoC is still new, the Chinese company is already working on the follow-up, and according to industry sources, preparations for Kirin 990 has already begun.
Reports from China claim TSMC will build the chipset on the 7nm processor. Industry insiders claim the subsidiary manufacturer HiSilicon has invested around CNY200 million in research and development, which translates to over $28 million/€25 million.
The Kirin 980 was the first chipset built on the 7nm process with the first Cortex-A76 cores. While Kirin 990 will have a similar architecture, including the number of transistors and power consumption rates, it will have something to be advertised as a first – the Balong 5000 modem, certified for 5G speeds. Production should begin in the first quarter of 2019 and that’s when we expect more detailed info to emerge.