Samsung Exynos 990 is the next flagship mobile processor from the Korean company. The Exynos 990 will compete with Huawei Kirin 990, Qualcomm’s next flagship Snapdragon processor and Apple A13 Bionic. It will also be the chipset powering the Galaxy S11 series, which will launch next year. After teasing the processor yesterday, the company officially launched it at Samsung Tech Day 2019 in San Jose, California. The new processor features an embedded ARM Mali-G77 GPU and a new 5G modem called the Exynos Modem 5123.
Samsung Exynos 990 announced for the Galaxy S11 series
Like the Exynos 9825 SoC seen on Galaxy Note 10 series, the Exynos 990 is also fabricated using the 7nm EUV process. There are two powerful custom cores paired with two high-performance Cortex A76 cores and four power-efficient Cortex A55 cores. Samsung claims Exynos 990 brings 20 percent performance boost with the tri-cluster CPU architecture. However, the focus seems to be on graphics performance and 5G mobile connectivity with the new mobile platform. The ARM Mali-G77 GPU based on the new Valhall architecture brings 20 percent power efficiency.
The chip will be paired with 5G Exynos Modem 5123 when it debuts on smartphones next year. The modem is one of the first to be manufactured using a 7nm EUV process. It supports 5G’s sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrums to 2G GSM/CDMA, 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HSPA and 4G LTE. This makes the modem a unified solution for all networks. In 5G, it brings up to 8-carrier aggregation (8CA), maximum downlink speed of up to 5.1Gbps in sub-6GHz. The downlink speed is up to 7.35Gbps in mmWave, which puts in the same league as Snapdragon X55 5G modem.
In 4G networks, the new modem is capable of up to 3Gbps downlink speed and it supports higher-order 1024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM). The modem also includes a very wide memory bandwidth with LPDDR5 data rates of up to 5,500 megabits per second (Mb/s). The processor brings support for 120Hz refresh rate display and photography with up to 108-megapixels. Samsung plans to mass produce Exynos 990 and Exynos Modem 5123 by the end of this year.
The chip will be first seen on Galaxy S11 Series, which will debut at Mobile World Congress 2020 or earlier. It could also power the rumored second version of Samsung’s foldable smartphone. Samsung, Apple, Qualcomm and Huawei are the only major brands to design and manufacture their own mobile processor. With Exynos 990, Samsung wants to compete in a big way. It has also announced plans to use AMD-designed Radeon mobile graphics in future.