12 November 2019
At the Samsung Tech Day 2019 event, Samsung announced a new processor named Exynos 990 along with a new 5G modem called Exynos Modem 5123. Both of these new hardware components are meant for premium smartphones with the goal of offering high-end artificial intelligence (AI) performance and high-speed 5G connectivity.
Both Exynos 990 and Exynos Modem 5123 are made using the 7nm Extreme Ultra-Violet (EUV) process. These are said to be capable of handling high-volume AI and 5G powered applications. It is the reason Samsung is projecting them as a perfect choice not only for casual consumers but also for enterprise users.
Exynos 990 is an octa-core processor with four ARM Cortex-A76 cores and four Cortex-A55 cores. It supports LPDDR5 RAM but the most important thing to note is that it features 120Hz display drivers. It means the processor can be used with smartphones that will come with 120Hz refresh rate display panels. As more and more with such a high refresh rate are coming out, it makes sense for Samsung's latest flagship processor to support the same. It is paired with an ARM Mali-G77 GPU based on the new Valhall architecture. Samsung is claiming 20% faster performance and power efficiency with the new processor.
The processor is compatible with up to six camera sensors and can handle concurrent processing for up to three. It can be used with camera sensors up to 108-megapixels which is the current highest megapixel count for a smartphone camera. This is not surprising as Samsung is the only player in the market with a 108-megapixel camera sensor. This is the second Samsung 5G processor as it previously launched Exynos 980 last month.
As for the Exynos Modem 5123, it is the world's first 5G modem built using the 7nm EUV process. It supports almost all types of networks from 5G’s sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrums to 2G GSM/CDMA, 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HSPA, and 4G LTE. It is capable of offering 8-carrier aggregation (8CA) when working on 5G connectivity. In theory, it can offer download speeds up to 5.1Gbps and up to 7.35Gbps on sub-6GHz and mmWave frequencies respectively. When connected to a 4G LTE network, the download speed can go as high as 3Gbps with the help of higher-order 1024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM).
Samsung will start mass-producing Exynos 990 and Exynos Modem 5123 by the end of the year. It would not be surprising if these make their commercial debut with the Galaxy S11 series.