Out of nowhere, Samsung unveils the next-generation flagship smartphone SoC named Exynos 990. This chipset is expected to power the South Korean electronics giant’s next wave of premium smartphones in 2020 which will include the Galaxy S11 series and Galaxy Note 11 series. Apart from the SoC, Samsung also unveiled Exynos 5123 5G modem which will be used in its 5G phones starting next year.
Both the Exynos 990 and Exynos 5123 will be manufactured on 7nm process technology using extreme ultra-violet light (EUV). Samsung says they will work together flawlessly for the next-gen 5G connectivity and performance demand. The Exynos 990 will succeed last year’s Exynos 9825 which happens to power all the 2018 flagship premium smartphones of Samsung including Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus, Galaxy Note 10, and Galaxy Note 10 Plus. However, as like every generation, the US and Chinese variants of Samsung flagships features Qualcomm SoCs and will continue to do so next year as well.
The Exynos 990’s CPU is an octa-core processor which consists of 2 new custom Exynos M5 microarchitecture which is 20% faster than Exynos M4, 2 Cortex-A76, whereas the previous generation features Cortex-A75 and 4 Cortex-A55 low-efficiency cores. As for GPU, the newly-announced SoC comes with Mali-G77 with MP11 configuration based on Valhall architecture. Samsung claims the GPU performance will be 20% better and 20% more power-efficient. The SoC also features new neural processing unit(NPU) and digital signal processor(DSP) which can perform over ten-trillion(TOPs) operations per second. The new image signal processor(ISP) can support camera sensors up to 108MP and can shoot 8K 10-bit videos at 30fps. Also, the Exynos 990 can support displays with up to 120GHz refresh rate which will be good-looking on Samsung AMOLED panels used on their phones.
Along with the Exynos 990, the firm also unveiled the Exynos 5123 5G modem. This modem supports all the mobile networks that are available right now including 2G GSM/CDMA, 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HSPA, 4G LTE, and 5G(mmWave and sub-6GHz). The modem can achieve peak downlink speed of 3.0Gbps on 4G networks using higher-order 1024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation(QAM). Whereas on 5G networks, it can achieve up to 5.1Gbps in sub-6GHz and 7.35Gbs in mmWave using 8-carrier aggregation(8CA).
Samsung expects the Exynos 990 and Exynos 5123 to begin mass production by the end of 2019.