Samsung introduces the new flagship Exynos chipset that will power the Galaxy S11

Samsung introduces the new flagship Exynos chipset that will power the Galaxy S11
Thanks to the time difference between the U.S. and South Korea, it is Thursday morning in South Korea and Samsung has just announced its flagship chipset for 2020. The Exynos 990 SoC has been unveiled along with the 5G Exynos Modem 5123. Both will be manufactured using the company's own 7nm EUV process. This refers to the number of transistors that fit inside a chip. The lower the process number, the larger the number of transistors inside; more transistors make a chip more powerful and energy-efficient. EUV stands for extreme ultraviolet lithography which is used to mark up a chip die for more precise transistor placement. That technology is another way to add more transistors inside chips.

The Exynos 990 chipset gets a 20% performance hike from its use of a tri-cluster CPU setup that includes two of Sammy's custom cores, two ARM Cortex-A76 high-performance cores, and four Cortex-A55 efficiency cores. The chip will also feature ARM's Mali-G77 graphics processor; Samsung says that this is the first premium GPU based on the new Valhall architecture and it provides a 20% improvement in graphics performance or power efficiency. That should warm the cockles of mobile game players' hearts.

The Exynos 990 chipset will most likely debut on the Samsung Galaxy S11 series


On-device AI is handled through a dual-core neural processing unit (NPU). By allowing AI functions to be processed on-device instead of through a network and a server, these operations can be done faster and in a more secure fashion. It also can improve an AI-based facial recognition system and enhance scene detection employed by cameras; the latter automatically use certain settings in order to produce the best possible picture depending on the subject matter and the location. The manufacturer says, "Samsung’s Exynos 990 and Exynos Modem 5123 are perfectly adapted for high-volume 5G and AI applications, and are designed to help the world’s most ambitious enterprises, large and small, achieve their goals of bringing new capabilities to their markets."


The aforementioned 5G Exynos Modem 5123 is one of the first modem chips made using the 7nm EUV process and supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave airwaves. The chip also will support 2G GSM/CDMA, 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HSPA, and 4G LTE. In 5G, with 8 carrier aggregation, the chip will handle download speeds up to 5.1Gbps on sub-6GHz and 7.35Mbps on mmWave networks. It also can deliver 3.06Gbps speed on 4G using 1024 QAM digital modulation. Considering that the maximum real-world download speed achieved on a 5G network is 3.67Gbps achieved by Huawei and its Swiss partner Sunrise, it would seem that Samsung's 5G modem can handle all sorts of 5G traffic. Carrier aggregation is the combination of two or more carriers to form one larger data channel. This provides more room to handle large capacity data traffic, which in turn allows data to travel at faster data speeds.

The Exynos 990 chipset supports LPDDR5 data rates at 5,500 Mbps and can also help drive a 120Hz display refresh rate leading to very smooth scrolling and video game animation. The image signal processor (ISP) that comes with the SoC supports up to six individual image sensors with up to three processing at the same time. The ISP will handle images produced by cameras with a resolution as high as 108MP. Not coincidentally, Samsung announced that it had developed a 108MP camera sensor back in August.

Mass production of both the Exynos 990 chipset and the 5G Exynos Modem 5123 will start later this year. We expect the Exynos 990 to debut in the Samsung Galaxy S11 series except in the states; U.S. models will be equipped with the unannounced Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform. The Galaxy S10 series was powered by the Exynos 9820 chipset with the Exynos 9825 found inside the Galaxy Note 10 family. Those models also were driven by the Snapdragon 855 in the U.S.

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37 Comments

1. scy1192

Posts: 12; Member since: May 15, 2014

US model might not use the 865 since Verizon is finally weaning themselves off of CDMA on January 1

4. Alcyone

Posts: 533; Member since: May 10, 2018

Unless I'm wrong, Sprint is still CDMA. I doubt the exynos will be in the States this time around. CDMA will sunset finally when Sprint is finally acquired by T Mobile. Or so it should be. Anyways, the SD bests the Exynos is real world usage.

27. Reviewerofstuff

Posts: 133; Member since: Jun 02, 2018

But then boost mobile will become its own thing and that might use cdma

15. Marcwand3l

Posts: 452; Member since: May 08, 2017

I think it will still use the SD 865. Samsung and Qualcomm seem to have quite a close relationship these days.

2. DBozz

Posts: 102; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

Lost exynos faith since s8...!

3. ManolitoMantoya

Posts: 21; Member since: Jun 05, 2016

We want all Samsung Flagship using Snapdragon, not only in the US.

5. Busyboy

Posts: 735; Member since: Jan 07, 2015

Just a 20% improvement to the GPU? That'll just be comparable to the SD855+.. Looks like Snapdragon wins again next year, but who's really surprised?

7. Gustaurus

Posts: 23; Member since: Sep 03, 2018

What do you expect from mobile gaming graphic especially on less optimized game on Android? Ultra high texture, super anti aliasing, ultra high polygon 3D modelling? It's not like PC or console. Mobile gaming is about fun for touch, easy to play everywhere, and multiplayer. For example look the PUBG graphic on PS4. It's faaaaar behind PS4 standard game graphic. But why PUBG and other mobile gaming gain popularity? It's not because of what I said before.

14. DBozz

Posts: 102; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

Oh boy!!! U have no idea on whats going on in mobile industries and its exponential growth of its potential day by day!!!

31. Chrusti

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

He obviously doesn't know what he is talking about. Mobile gaming is the future. Our mobile phones have never been this powerful before. I love to get home and connect my phone to my TV to do some Wii and GameCube emulation.

33. DBozz

Posts: 102; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

Exactly...

10. dimas

Posts: 3394; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

I have the exynos version in my s10+. You won't tell the difference in everyday use unless you're a hardcore high fps gamer and I bet not all people have pure gamer lifestyle.

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Iloveapps and midan will be along shortly, to blast the specs and performance of a chip, that’s not even out yet.

9. rkoforever90

Posts: 473; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

specs are underwhelming , to be honest , Forget about A13 , I wonder if it is even as good as A12

11. Busyboy

Posts: 735; Member since: Jan 07, 2015

Of course it isn't - when Apple says they're two years ahead of the competition, they mean it.

18. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Except when it comes to real world speed tests, where they're behind the competition each year.

28. toukale

Posts: 662; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

@tedkord - Really? comparing phones with web browsing and launching and closing apps test does little to test a chip. You see the difference whenever you ask those chips to do anything extensive like encoding or decoding a 4k file. A task like that really stresses a chip and in those test, the A chips smokes anything else, even Intel chips struggles with a task like that.

29. brasstax

Posts: 545; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

@toukale - yeah right because 99% of users utilze their time encoding and decoding 4k files rather than web browsing or opening and closing apps.

30. toukale

Posts: 662; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

@brasstax - Again are we talking about testing the chip or what? None of the tests you see on youtube or tech sites really test the quality of a chip. Those are all done to attract clicks to get paid, which is why I don't care much for them. Opening and closing apps have more to do with memory and animation times that each vendor add to their GUI than actually testing the chip. You don't seem interested in this which brings us back to what I said earlier, you are more interested into trolling (support your company du jour) than actually the advancements of tech.

37. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Exactly lol. We see the YouTube videos all the time.

16. Marcwand3l

Posts: 452; Member since: May 08, 2017

I don't see why it wouldn't at least as good as the A12. What exactly makes the A12 so incredible?

12. iloveapps

Posts: 909; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

No need to blast as Samsung chip never holds to the power of A10 fusion. You see many Samsung Exynos user were very disappointed.

17. Cicero

Posts: 1144; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

I am not.

8. dimas

Posts: 3394; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

It's the starting month of "leaks" and rumors again. I hope samsung can do a design where galaxy s11e and 11 can cram up more battery in the small chassis. I'm thinking of graphene and portable, compact plutonium but that would take more years of research.

13. Tizo101

Posts: 595; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

"Both will be manufactured using the company's own 7nm EUV process. This refers to the number of transistors that fit inside a chip. The lower the process number, the larger the number of transistors inside; more transistors make a chip more powerful and energy-efficient." Nano meter is 10 to the negative power 9... Doesn't imply anything. The metric system is still a problem I see

19. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 609; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

Looks like maybe Samsung will have a 90hz or 120hz display on the S11 devices, along with new camera sensors and their 5G modem seems capable of achieving really high download speed's 5.1Gbps comapred to the Balong 5000 modem which hit speeds of 4.6 Gbps. Phone's are powerful enough they can run 4k displays just make them more efficient.

20. S4NDY

Posts: 263; Member since: Mar 14, 2016

Everyone knows that Huawei is the most innovative company right now, Samsung has always copied Competitors who threaten it, first Apple and now it's Huawei

21. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 609; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

You act like Huawei havent copied no one? They were caught trying to steal tech. Samsung, Apple, Huawei all copy. Where do you think Huawei's waterfull curved display originated from? What do you think EMUI was a copy of? The Back of the Mate 30 Pro looks like a Nokia Lumia. Weren't they the one's who interviewed Apple watch suppliers about details of the Apple watch? Huawei came right off the bat trying to copy everyone and get their foot in. Now that they have they finally started to be original for once and the fanboys are overjoyed ;)

22. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Wow everyone has started copying Huawei now. Even the model number 990. Apple and Google copied Square camera, Samsung gradient finish in Note 10. How the time is changed, before Huawei was a copy cat and now all others become a copy cat. Kudos to Huawei's innovation.

23. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 609; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

"before Huawei was a copy cat " You mean "IS" Wonder who they got the notch from?

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