Samsung previews Galaxy S10 power with Exynos 9820 announcement

Samsung previews Galaxy S10 power with Exynos 9820 announcement
Right on schedule, one of the two processors set to be used inside the highly anticipated Galaxy S10 has been unveiled... with surprisingly little fanfare. Of course, Samsung had much bigger fish to fry recently, embracing the notch and teasing its bold vision for the foldable future of the mobile industry.

Still, the newly announced Exynos 9820 (or Exynos 9 Series 9820) chipset is a pretty big deal too, performing “AI-related functions seven times faster than its predecessor.” The Exynos 9810 powering international Galaxy S9, S9+, and Note 9 versions was obviously no slouch, but the 9820’s biggest improvement is undoubtedly the inclusion of a dedicated NPU (Neural Processing Unit).

That should bring Samsung’s latest flagship SoC on par with the Apple A12 Bionic and Huawei’s Kirin 980 powerhouse, at least as far as theoretical AI tasks are concerned. Unfortunately, while the competition has already moved to a 7-nanometer architecture, the Exynos 9820 upgrades its forerunner’s 10 nm node to an intermediary 8 nm LPP (Low Power Plus) FinFET production process.

That means this may not be the world’s most energy-efficient silicon, even though Samsung did recently kick off 7 nm EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography) chip manufacturing. We’re guessing the technology is simply not ready for primetime yet, but perhaps there’s a separate Exynos SoC in the pipeline for that rumored 5G-enabled Galaxy S10 variant.

That’s right, the 9820 still integrates a good old fashioned LTE modem (an LTE-Advanced Pro with LTE Category 20 support, to be exact), while the CPU architecture has been revised to include three clusters instead of two.

Two “custom” 4th generation cores will handle “ultimate processing power”, a Cortex-A75 pair is in charge of “optimizing” performance, with four frugal Cortex-A55s guaranteeing “greater efficiency” for “superior” overall performance “that lasts.”

At the end of the day, what’s important to keep in mind is that multi-core and single-core performance are improved by 15 percent and “up to” 20 percent respectively compared to the Exynos 9810, while power efficiency gets a massive boost of “up to” 40 percent... on paper.

The new Mali-G76 MP12 GPU should also bring substantial upgrades to the table compared to last year’s G72 MP18, aiming for “more impressive, uninterrupted gameplay.” We’re talking cool 40 percent performance enhancements and around 35 percent improved power efficiency.

Last but not least, we should probably mention the Exynos 9820 supports up to five camera sensors and 8K video recording, although that’s not necessarily what the Galaxy S10 will offer in terms of imaging prowess. But it does make us dream of a Galaxy Note 10 with five shooters in tow.

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