Huawei hosted a press conference in China today, using it as an opportunity to announce the world’s first 5G base station core chip, while also teasing the arrival of its foldable, 5G-enabled Android smartphone. While initially expected to debut in mid-2019, the seminal device is now planned to be announced Mobile World Congress 2019 which is kicking off in Barcelona on February 24.
Changing wireless forever, one 5G chip at a time
This press conference essentially served as a pre-briefing for the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019, and the world’s first core chip designed for 5G base stations is called the Huawei TIANGANG. The company says that this chip will support simplified 5G networks and large-scale 5G network deployment all over the globe.
The company claims that this chip is “highly integrated”, as it can support large-scale integration of active power amplifiers (PAs), and passive antenna arrays into very small antennas. On top of that, it boasts super high computing capacity with a 2.5-fold increase over previous chips. This chip can control up to 64 channels, and it also supports the 200MHz high spectral bandwidth.
This chip also brings significant improvements in active antenna units (AAUs), with 50-percent smaller, 23-percent lighter, and 21-percent less power consuming base stations. The company claims that 5G base stations can be deployed in half the time it took to do the same with 4G base stations.
It's time robots learned how to drive themselves
In addition to announcing the Huawei TIANGANG, Huawei also announced the world’s first data center switch with an AI brain. This switch essentially enables zero Ethernet packet loss, and it results in end-to-end latency of fewer than 10 milliseconds. On top of that, it consumes less than 8W of power.
The company also mentioned that its full-stack AI technologies will enable an autonomous driving network, and that the company has developed the SoftCOM AI solution in order to help operators get the most out of energy efficiency, O&M efficiency, network performance, and user experiences.
Huawei’s Foldable, 5G-Enabled Smartphone
Huawei did not mention its 5G-enabled foldable smartphone, but a separate report claims that the company did hint at its arrival during MWC 2019, and an image from Huawei’s press conference is attached as proof.
The company basically set the stage for a 5G-enabled smartphone with this pre-briefing, and if the aforementioned report is to be believed, the company’s foldable smartphone will be launching at MWC 2019, and it will be 5G-enabled, though that’s pretty much all the info that the report shares.
Huawei did confirm a while back that it is working on its foldable smartphone, and that it will become official in the first half of the year, but not much info surfaced since then, so the phone is still quite a mystery. The company will likely make something similar to either Samsung or Xiaomi, depending on whether it will opt for a single fold or a dual fold smartphone.
Samsung had demoed a single fold smartphone at the end of last year, which folds inwards, with a secondary display on the back. Xiaomi, on the other hand, folds towards the back in two places, it has only one display, but two-thirds of it shut off when the phone is folded.