Yesterday, a leak
confirmed that the Galaxy S11
series will be powered by Samsung's own Exynos 990
processor that it announced not long ago, together with the Snapdragon 865 that we are waiting to be unveiled by Qualcomm in the beginning of December, as has become a tradition.
Despite that the Exynos 990 is already official, not much is known about its actual production process and high-powered cores. When we did our comparison with the Apple A13 or the Snapdragon 855+, we were only guessing that it is made on the enhanced 7nm process and the next-gen M5 "Mongoose" cores will be used.
Well, those guesstimates were proven right by none other than Samsung, as the new Mongoose core commits were just detailed
in the semiconductor Wiki, and the 7nm (7LPP) method has indeed been used. The LPP here stands for Low Power Plus, indicating that this is the second generation of the 7nm process that chipsets like the Apple A13 and the Snapdragon 855 have been built on. According to Samsung:
The new 7LPP allows up to 40% increase in area efficiency with 20% higher performance or 50% lower power consumption, resulting in better yields with significantly fewer layers...
This fundamental shift in how wafers are manufactured gives our customers the opportunity to significantly improve their products’ time to market with superior throughput, reduced layers, and better yields. We’re confident that 7LPP will be an optimal choice not only for mobile and HPC, but also for a wide range of cutting-edge applications.
Bear in mind that the 20% performance or 50% power consumption gains are not compared to the previous, 8nm or even 10nm processes, but rather compared to that first-gen 7nm method that the latest A-series or Snapdragon 8-series are created with. Given that the Snapdragon 865 is said to be made by Samsung with the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography that leads to the 7nm LPP process, we can expect both Galaxy S11 chipset models to be beasts.
|Exynos 990||Exynos 9825||Snapdragon 855+||Apple A13|
|Production process||7nm EUV||7nm EUV||7nm (TSMC FF)||7nm (TSMC N7P)|
|Processor cores||2x Exynos M5|
2x Cortex A76
4x Cortex A55
|2x Exynos M4 @2.73GHz |
2x Cortex A75@2.4GHz
4x Cortex A55@1.95GHz
|1x Kryo 485 Gold (custom Cortex-A76) @ 2.96GHz|
3x Kryo 485 Gold (custom Cortex-A76) @ 2.42GHz
4x Kryo 485 Silver (custom Cortex-A55) @ 1.80GHz
|2x Lightning @2.66GHz|
4x Thunder @1.7GHz
|GPU||Mali-G77 MP11||Mali-G76 MP12||Adreno 640||Apple custom quad-core|
|Modem||Exynos 5123 |
Downloads up to 7.3Gbps (mmWave), 5.1Gbps (sub-6GHz), or 3Gbps (4G LTE), 8xCA
Uploads: up to 422 Mbps
Downloads up to 2Gbps, 8xCA
Uploads: up to 316 Mbps
Exynos 5100 5G modem add-on
|Snapdragon X24 LTE|
Downloads: up to 2Gbps, 7xCA
Uploads: up to 316Mbps
X50 5G modem add-on
Downloads: up to 1.6Gbps, 7xCA
Uploads: up to 225Mbps
|AI co-processor||Yes, dual-core NPU||Yes, dual-core NPU||Yes||Yes, octa-core Neural Engine|
|Video encode||4K HDR at 150fps|
8K HDR at 30fps
|4K HDR at 150fps|
8K HDR at 30fps
|4K HDR10+||4K HDR at 60fps|
|Misc.||UFS 3.0 storage support for up to 2.9GB/s speeds|
LPDDR5 memory support
Single-camera up to 108MP
120Hz display refresh rate
|UFS 3.0 storage support for up to 2.9GB/s speeds||4K HDR Bokeh Video|
8K 360 VR video playback
Always-on noise cancellation
Machine learning capable of 1 trillion operations per second
Moving on to the Mongoose cores, they are actually classified as a "medium" improvement over M4, which is a fairly significant step in processor core parlance. The main difference in comparison with the M4 in the Note 10 stems from the decreasing the misprediction penalty with a whole cycle, and the 25% bump in instruction queues.
What does that all mean? A faster, more efficient, and better suited for machine learning processor will be in store for the Galaxy S11 series. Too bad that Samsung is shuttering its Exynos research center in Austin, so M5 might be the last custom core design it issues, turning the S11 into an instant legend. Too bad Qualcomm didn't name their custom core architecture Cobra now, isn't it?