Huawei has launched its first chip which allows mobile devices such as smartphones to access the internet at 5G speeds. The 5G chipset is known as Huawei Balong 5G01 and according to the device maker it is the first commercial chipset in the world to meet 5G standards. The Chinese device manufacturer also indicated that it will be unveiling a 5G handset in this year’s second half.
Last year the body in charge of governing cellular standards across the globe, 3GPP, indicated that 5G specifications had been agreed upon. The next-generation network technology is expected to be critical with regards to powering Internet of Things devices and even autonomous cars which require connecting to the internet at ultra-fast speeds.
Download speeds of 2.3 Gbps
According to Huawei the 5G chipset is capable of reaching 2.3 Gbps in download speeds, which beats the current 4G speeds hands down. Per the chief executive officer of the consumer business of Huawei, Richard Yu, the 5G smartphone containing the 5G chipset will be released later this year.
“Later on in Q3 or Q4 of this year we will launch the 5G smartphone with the 5G smartphone chipset. And our infrastructure, the 5G infrastructure is readily available to commercialize,” said Yu.
By creating its own chipset, Huawei will possess more control with regards to how its devices are designed and how they eventually perform. Additionally Huawei will have less reliance on external suppliers. According to Yu Balong 5G01 will not be licensed to rival makers of mobile devices.
This is not the first chip that Huawei is developing in-house. Last year the Chinese device maker unveiled a chipset known as Kirin 970 meant to enable AI experiences on its handsets. Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro currently uses the Kirin 970 chipset.
The launch of Huawei’s 5G chip is a threat to chipmakers such as California-based Qualcomm. A modem designed for mobile devices known as X50 in the recent past managed 4.51 Gbps in download speeds. Another chipmaker that will feel threatened is Intel. Earlier this month Intel indicated that it had struck a deal with Lenovo, HP, Dell and Microsoft with a view to producing laptops which are 5G-enabled and which use modems from the chipmaker.
Huawei’s launch of a 5G chipset comes in the wake of the device maker announcing that pre-commercial development of 5G had started in conjunction with over 30 network operators. The 5G trials are being conducted by Huawei’s telecommunication networking gear unit in cities such as Vancouver, Milan, London, Tokyo and Seoul.