Samsung announces its first 5nm soc for smartphones

Samsung has announced its first 5nm soc for smartphones. The Exynos 1080 supports displays at 1440p resolutions up to 90Hz and at 1080p resolutions up to 144Hz. Samsung has built in a modem with 5G support.

The Exynos 1080 has four Cortex A78 cores, with the fastest running at 2.8GHz and the other three running at 2.6GHz. There are also four Cortex A55 cores at 2.2GHz. The GPU is an Arm Mali G78MP10 with ten cores. The soc can be combined with Lpddr4x or Lpddr5 memory. The soc only supports UFS 3.1 storage.

The modem is built-in and supports 4G over LTE Cat 18 with speeds of up to 1.2Gbit / s via carrier aggregation on six frequency bands. Uploading is done via 4G at a maximum of 200Mbit / s. The support for 5G is there for the lower ‘sub-6’ frequencies and the higher mmWave frequencies. Downloading then goes with a maximum of 5.1Gbit / s and uploading with 1.28Gbit / s. Furthermore, the soc supports bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6.

The support for 90Hz screens with 1440p resolution precludes telephones with this soc from 120Hz and 1440p at the same time. The current Samsung smartphones cannot do that either, although that is possible with the competition. With 1080p screens, a refresh rate of up to 144Hz is possible. The isp on the soc can handle images up to 200 megapixels and can record and play videos at 4k resolution at 60fps.

It is Samsung’s first 5nm soc. Competitor TSMC already supplies chips at 5nm and makes Apple’s A14 and M1, among others, on that process. Huawei has also had its Kirin 990-soc made at TSMC. Samsung does not say when the Exynos 1080 will appear in phones, but it is usually within a few months of the announcement of a new soc. Given the specs, the soc seems to be aimed at more expensive midrange smartphones, but not high-end models.