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Huawei claims world’s first commercialised 5G system-on-chip

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A Huawei logo is displayed at a retail store in Beijing, 2019. AFP

Huawei claims world’s first commercialised 5G system-on-chip

Huawei CEO Richard Yu announced the world’s first commercialised 5G system-on-chip (SoC) during his keynote speech at IFA 2019, darting ahead of competitors Samsung and Qualcomm in the race.

The flagship Kirin 990 and its 5G version will power Huawei’s Mate 30 when the new phone is unveiled in Munich, Germany, on September 19.

“We don’t know when Samsung’s chip will be available – our chipset is available now,” said Yu on Friday, which was the opening day of IFA 2019, calling the Kirin 990 “the best 5G solution today” with less board area and improved power consumption efficiency with ultra-speed downloads.

Samsung was considered to be ahead in the game when it announced the Exynos 980 chipset with built-in 5G earlier this month. The Korean tech giant had promised the chip’s commercialisation within the year, but Huawei’s imminent launch of the Kirin 990 next week appears to have overshadowed excitement for the Exynos 980 for now.

As for US chip producer Qualcomm, its chairman Cristian Amon introduced in a subsequent keynote address following Huawei’s that the upcoming Snapdragon 7 series platform with integrated 5G is expected to be commercially ready by the fourth quarter of this year.

Leading smartphone makers like Oppo, realme, Redmi, Vivo, Motorola, HMD and LG Electronics are all set to incorporate Qualcomm’s upcoming 5G chipset.

Meanwhile, Huawei’s next new smartphone Mate 30 with the 5G SoC has drawn attention, as it will not come with Google apps and services due to the US White House’s ban on US companies’ business with Huawei.

How Huawei will cope in the smartphone business without the Android interface has sparked questions among consumers.

Making the most of the grace period before the full-on ban, Huawei used IFA 2019 as an opportunity to announce newly designed versions of its existing smartphone Huawei P30 Pro, with the preinstalled Android 10 interface.

It also introduced the upgraded wireless earphones Huawei FreeBuds 3 with a noise cancellation feature, and a home internet router that enhances network connectivity in every corner of a big house.

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