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:
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.
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?