Qualcomm, Samsung vow 5G for masses; Huawei debuts new chip
Richard Yu showing off the new Kirin 990 5G chipset at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin on Friday.
Berlin - Transition to 5G is going to be faster than earlier transitions: Qualcomm prez
Qualcomm promised on Friday to bring 5G mobile phones to the masses with a high-end modem and said its chips would also power mid-price devices hitting the market next year.
Fifth-generation chipsets from Qualcomm, the world's biggest supplier of mobile phone chips, now run on five devices from Samsung Electronics, including the $1,299 Galaxy S10 5G model and the new $2,000 Galaxy Fold. Samsung has also put Qualcomm chips in its lower-priced A90 5G model, which had used Samsung chips in an earlier version.
Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon predicted such devices would achieve volume and scale.
"The transition to 5G is going to be faster than earlier transitions," Amon told Reuters on the sidelines of the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin. "Now we have to bring it to everyone."
More than 20 network operators and a similar number of smartphone makers - from the United States to Europe to China - are launching 5G services and handsets. Amon estimated there were 2.2 billion mobile users that could upgrade.
Chinese tech giant Huawei unveiled its latest advanced chipset on Friday ahead of the upcoming launch of its latest flagship smartphone, even as uncertainty hangs over whether the device can use Google's Android.
Huawei's consumer business CEO, Richard Yu, showed off the Kirin 990 chipset at the IFA.
Optimised for new 5G networks and packing 10.3 billion transistors into its fingernail size, the Kirin 990 will be the brain powering the Mate 30 phone. Huawei, the world's No. 2 smartphone maker, plans a global launch for the phone in Munich on September 19.
Yu revealed little about the Mate 30 as he showcased other products. He touted the new chip's lower energy use and superfast 5G download speed. "This is the latest semiconductor technology," he said.
Huawei has developed its Kirin line of chips to power some of its phones and reduce reliance on US-based Qualcomm and other foreign suppliers. It has also built its own operating system, Hongmeng, though executives have said they hope to be able to keep using Android.