Samsung Launches the New Exynos 990 Mobile Processor

After launches and updates of different flagship series, Samsung is now focusing on the next-level of intelligence. The company announces the brand new Exynos 990 chipset, likely to be Samsung’s flagship SoC for 2020.

Samsung announced the new Exynos 990 mobile processor at its Samsung Tech Day 2019. The new Exynos 990 is expected to power flagship Samsung phones in the near future, perhaps starting with the Galaxy S11 series.

Features of Exynos 990 Processor

The Exynos 990 processor features the 5th generation custom CPU for ultimate computing power required for the complex use cases in the 5G era. Exynos 990 is based on a 7nm EUV process and might comes with next-gen 5G Exynos Modem 5123.

The chip can be paired with the also newly-announced 5G-capable Exynos Modem 5123. Hence, there is the probability that we will see a 5G variant of the Galaxy S11 and perhaps the whole range may be 5G connected.

According to Samsung, the Exynos 990 mobile processor is designed with a powerful AI processing capability. Thus, mobile experiences will evolve to meet the new aspects of mobility in the era of AI.

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The Exynos 990 is a 7nm EUV octa-core chipset in a tri-cluster format consisting of two new custom Exynos M5 cores. These cores are stated to be 20% faster than the M4 cores on the Exynos 9820. Samsung has also retained an octa-core design, as the processor’s CPU featuring two high-performance Cortex-A77 cores designed by the company itself, and four Cortex-A55 cores for efficiency.

The Exynos 990 keeps its dual-core NPU, but the DSP is improved. Samsung says it can perform over ten-trillion operations per second.

The Exynos 990 sees a big GPU upgrade in the form of the new Mali-G77 in an MP11 configuration. Exynos 990 ARM’s Mali G77 GPU is based on the British chip giant’s Valhall architecture, improving graphics performance or power efficiency by another 20%. Although, Samsung doesn’t usually, disclose the clock frequencies of any of its CPU clusters, but, tech experts said it is around 13%.

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The Arm Mali™-G77 MP11 GPU offers ultimate 3D graphics processing for a realistic and immersive gaming experience. The Valhall architecture is a new superscalar engine that delivers another leap in performance density and energy efficiency. Furthermore, combined with powerful CPU and LPDDR5 support, the Exynos 990 enables seamless gaming experience with less lags and faster loading speed so you can jump right into your favorite game and start leveling up in no time.

One of the major upgrade of the Exynos 990 compare to Exynos 9820 and Exynos 9825 is that its transit from LPDDR4X memory to LPDDR5 memory. This allows the new chipset to increase the memory controller frequency from 2093 MHz to 2750MHz and we’re also expecting the new DRAM technology to bring power efficiency gains to the table.

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It can support memory bandwidth with LPDDR5 which supports data rates of up to 5,500 megabits/second, with displays with a 120 Hz refresh rate and a smartphone with a camera with up to 108 MP resolution.

Furthermore, the LPDDR5 enables a smartphone to efficiently transfer massive amount of data needed for 5G communication, AI applications, graphically demanding games, ultra-high resolutions videos, and more.

Although, Samsung did not confirm the Exynos 990 will be having the new Exynos Modem 5123 capabilities since, the company is launching the new Exynos Modem 5123 as a new discrete chipset.

For Security, the Exynos 990 features a new architecture and cutting-edge technologies for enhanced security, to keep user’s information safe and secure.

The memory protection technologies, such as a DRAM encryption engine, are upgraded to protect data safer with faster processing speed. Along with Physically Unclonable Function (PUF) that generates a unique key based on the physical properties of each chip, the newly added integrated secure element (iSE) layer stores and handles personal data separately from the OS environment.

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Samsung’s new 5G modem: Exynos 5123.

The new 5G modem offers a complete multi-band solution which covers everything from 2G to 5G, in both mmWave and Sub-6 flavors. It is capable of communicating through the sub-6GHz 5G spectrum. The modem, like the Exynos 990, is also fabricated on 7nm EUV.

“Samsung’s Exynos 990 and Exynos Modem 5123 are perfectly adapted for high-volume 5G and AI applications, and are designed to help the world’s most ambitious enterprises, large and small, achieve their goals of bringing new capabilities to their markets,” said Inyup Kang, president of System LSI Business at Samsung Electronics.

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The Modem supports theoretical data transmission speeds for 4G LTE to go up to 3Gbps downlink and 422Mbps uplink. Download speeds in mmWave will also go up to 7.35Gbps and 5.1Gbps in the sub-6GHz setting with 8x carrier aggregation.

Samsung Exynos Modem 5123 also supports E-UTRA-NR Dual Connectivity (EN-DC), which combines LTE and 5G connectivity to maximize downlink speeds. The 7nm EUV fabrication process should help in improving battery efficiency.

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