Samsung introduces Exynos 9820-soc that will probably come in Galaxy S10

Samsung has presented its next high-end soc for smartphones. Like the Kirin 980 from competitor Huawei, the Exynos 9820 consists of three clusters. It also has the Mali G76 GPU in common with that soc, but Samsung uses a variant with more cores.

The Exynos 9820’s three clusters consist of two fourth-generation custom cores, two Cortex A75 cores, and four Cortex A55 cores. Samsung has not yet announced the clock speeds of the cores. Samsung used two clusters with the Exynos 9810, the soc of the Galaxy S9, among others. Earlier this year, Huawei made the move to a three-cluster design with the Kirin 980 soc, which is included in the Mate 20 Pro.

According to Samsung, the fourth-generation custom cores are up to twenty percent faster than the third-generation cores used for the Exynos 9810. The efficiency is forty percent better, claims the manufacturer. Furthermore, Samsung is adding an npu to its soc for accelerating machine learning. Such a neural processing unit is also on the high-end socs of Huawei since the Kirin 970 and on those of Apple since the A11 Bionic. Both socs are from last year. Qualcomm does not yet use npu in its current socs.

Samsung uses a Mali G76MP12 GPU for the Exynos 9820. The GPU has fewer cores than the Mali G72MP18 from the Exynos 9810, but should nevertheless be up to forty percent faster, because it is a newer design. The GPU is more powerful than that of the Kirin 980; in that soc is a Mali G76MP10 variant. The MP number indicates the number of cores in the Mali GPUs.

No 5G modem is integrated in the Exynos 9820-soc, but the 4G modem achieves higher speeds than its predecessor. The maximum download speed is 2Gbit/s and uploading is possible up to 316Mbit/s. The speeds can be achieved with carrier aggregation, which combines frequencies from different bands. Providers must offer that to enable such speeds.

The soc can control displays with resolutions of 3840×2400 or 4096×2160 pixels, its predecessor can do that too. Like the Exynos 9810, the soc is paired with lpddr4x memory, but there is now support for ufs 3.0 storage. As for the cameras, there is support for 22-megapixel units on the front and back, and two 16-megapixel cameras in a dual arrangement. The soc is also capable of processing 8k videos.

Samsung makes the Exynos 9820 on its 8nm process. The South Korean manufacturer also has a 7nm process, which uses EUV, but that process will not be ready for large-scale production until 2020. Huawei has its Kirin 980 soc made at TSMC at 7nm, but no euv is used yet.

The company expects mass production to start at the end of this year. Samsung has not yet announced which devices the soc will come in, but it is expected that the Galaxy S10 will receive the chip early next year.

Samsung Exynos 9820 Huawei Kirin 980 Samsung Exynos 9810
cpu 2x ”Exynos M4”
2x A75
4x A55
2x A76 @ 2.60GHz
2x A76 @ 1.92GHz
4x A55 @ 1.80GHz
4x Exynos M3 @ 2.9GHz
4x A55 @ 1.9GHz
GPU ARM Mali-G76MP12 ARM Mali-G76MP10 @ 720MHz ARM Mali-G72MP18
Npu Yes Yes No
Memory lpddr4x Lpddr4x @ 2133MHz, 34.1GB/s Lpddr4x @ 1794MHz
Storage ufs 3.0 Ufs 2.1 Ufs 2.1
Modem

LTE Advanced Pro
(Category 20/20)

Download: 2Gbit/s
Upload 316Mbit/s

Kirin 980 Integrated LTE
(Category 21/18)

Download: 1400Mbit/s
Upload: 200Mbit/s

Shannon Integrated LTE
(Category 18/13)

Download: 1200Mbit/s
Upload: 200Mbit/s

Production process 8nm lpp, Samsung 7nm, TSMC 10nm lpp, Samsung