Exynos 990 flagship-grade chip from Samsung goes official


Samsung surprised everyone by unveiling their Exynos 990 SoC, their next-generation smartphone flagship SoC which will be powering the likes of Galaxy S11 series and Galaxy Note series next year. Along with the SoC, the firm also announced Exynos 5123 5G modem which will be utilized in their future 5G phones.

The Exynos 990 is the successor to Exynos 9825 which currently powers the 2018 Galaxy S10 series and Galaxy Note 10 series outside of US and China. The Exynos 5123 5G modem and Exynos 990 SoC will be manufactured on the 7nm process technology using extreme ultra-violet commonly known as EUV. And hence, they will be powerful and power-efficient at the same time.

Samsung once again uses their custom CPU architecture in the form of 2 new Exynos M5 units, which the firm claims to be performing 20% faster than the Exynos M4 found on Exynos 9820 and 9825. The other cores of the CPU include 2 Cortex-A76, an upgrade from previous gen’s Cortext A-75, and another 4 Cortext A-55 low-efficiency cores. In simpler words, its an octa-core processor with slightly better performance than the previous generation.

GPU is where the Exynos 990 excels when compared to its predecessors. It features the all-new Mali-G77 with M11 configuration based on Valhall architecture which Samsung claims to be 20% more powerful and power-efficient than its predecessor. Moreover, the SoC comes with the new neural processing unit(NPU) and digital signal processor which can perform over ten-trillion(TOPs) operations per second. Also, the new image signal processor(ISP) on-board supports up to 108MP sensor can record 8K 10-bit videos at 30fps. Interestingly, the SoC also supports 120Hz refresh rate displays which may be a possible feature on future Samsung flagship phones.

Coming to the Exynos 5123 5G modem, it supports all the mobile networks including sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrums of 5G, 4G LTE, HSPA, TD-SCDMA, 3G WCDMA, and 2G GSM/CDMA. While operating on 5G, the modem can utilize up to 8-carrier aggregation(8CA) method to achieve a peak downlink speed of 5.1 gigabits per second(Gbps) in sub-6GHz and 7.35 gigabits per second(Gbps) in mmWave. Whereas in 4G, it can attain a peak downlink speed of 3.0Gbps by using higher-order 1024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation(QAM).

Both the Exynos 990 SoC and Exynos 5123 5G modem are expected to begin mass production by the end of this year as per Samsung.

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