Samsung beats Qualcomm to the punch with the 5G-integrated mid-range Exynos 980 SoC

Samsung beats Qualcomm to the punch with the 5G-integrated mid-range Exynos 980 SoC
Hot on the heels of its first non-flagship 5G smartphone, Samsung is today taking the wraps off the company's first 5G-integrated mobile processor. Interestingly, the Exynos 980 is not a new ultra-high-end SoC following in the footsteps of the Exynos 9825 powering the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ outside the US, instead planning to "bring 5G connectivity to more mobile devices."

Samsung's aim here is to "make 5G more accessible to a wider range of users", which is simply a thinly veiled way of saying the Exynos 980 will be found inside mid-range phones starting sometime in 2020. Possibly, early next year, as mass production is scheduled to begin "by the end of this year." There's also a pretty good chance the new mid-end chip will power cheaper handsets than the Galaxy A90 5G, which starts at the rough equivalent of $750 in Korea with a Snapdragon 855 SoC and separate Snapdragon X50 modem on deck.

Unlike the Snapdragon 855 and all other Qualcomm processors in circulation right now, the Samsung-made Exynos 980 includes the 5G modem in a tiny all-in-one package, thus increasing the space efficiency within a mobile device while significantly reducing power consumption. That should allow future members of the Galaxy A family to come with bigger, longer-lasting batteries, but that obviously doesn't mean the Exynos 980 is a complete pushover in terms of raw speed.


Built on 8-nanometer FinFET technology, the newly unveiled SoC pairs an octa-core CPU composed of two high-performance Cortex-A77 cores and six energy-efficient Cortex-A55 cores with a top-of-the-line Mali-G76 GPU to try to achieve the perfect balance between power and affordability. An enhanced neural processing unit (NPU) is also integrated to enable "more sophisticated on-device AI experiences", while the built-in 5G modem supports up to 2.55Gbps speeds in the sub-6GHz spectrum, as well as blazing fast 4G LTE gigabit downlink capabilities. In other words, you'll probably be more than satisfied with the speeds delivered by Exynos 980-powered handsets on both 5G and 4G networks.

Samsung's surprising new chipset is also designed to work with up to 108MP cameras, WQHD+ (3360 x 1440 pix res) screens, and on phones capable of shooting 4K UHD video at 120 frames per second. The mid-range future sounds pretty exciting, eh?

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12 Comments

1. Dbosss unregistered

Im already disappointed with my note 10 plus with exynos 9825 modem. I think it has a weired modem which gives the signal of only 2 points while my friend's note 10 plus with 855 had full 4 points with same network and in same location... also the signal drops if we hold the phone to watch a video but the 855 has no problem at all. and the performance is still inferior than 855. I don't believe in advertising s**ts of Samsung anymore. Will see the comparison numbers then go with whichever is better for the money. Also when they launch 980, 855 already in a phase of approaching its midrange category. S10e for example for 500 less euros

2. AbhiD

Posts: 812; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Beat Qualcomm to punch? Really? Samsung should first learn how to make competitive SOCs, not just on paper but in real life as well. Forget Qualcomm and Apple, now a days even Huawei is doing a better job making SOCs. It's time Samsung simply starts using Qualcomm processors or rather do a genuine effort to make a worthwhile processor. Exynos 9825, came 6 months late, on newer 7nm process with increased clock speed and yet failed to bring any performance improvements over 9820 whatsoever. "Gary Explains" did a speedtest between S855 Note 10+ and 9825 Note 10+ Guess what? S855 version thrashed 9825 by a big margin. Infact 9825 couldn't improve it's score over 9820 in anyway. Not to mention inferior modems in Exynos, even detailed in post above. Aside all the marketing BS, Samsung has failed to do a good job.

3. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 582; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

The Samsung hate in you is very strong

4. AbhiD

Posts: 812; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Calling out truth is Samsung hate? I would rather hate on huawei than Samsung but can't help it when they offer substandard Exynos in my country

6. Cyberchum

Posts: 1066; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

And your truth is that Samsung didn't beat QCom on this topic? Nobody here argued that there chips are better than QCom's; stick to the topic and stop flying off on a tangent.

10. Dbosss unregistered

Sometimes u might have to read the title of topic... bruhhh!

12. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

To be fair, this is simply an annnouncement Who knows when it will actually be in phones, maybe 2020? By then there may also be phones with Qualcomm's 5G SoC (or Huawei's 5G SoC)

7. Deadeye

Posts: 78; Member since: Jul 26, 2019

Like you´re able to tell a difference. S855 didn´t trash anything, Exynos is on par with 855+, you can look it up. Did Samsung piss in your cornflakes or what?

11. AbhiD

Posts: 812; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Is reading Anandtech or watching speedtests too much work for your tiny brain? If not, go have a look otherwise i can't help you

13. Matrix57

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 05, 2019

I think the point was that this is a mid-range processor. Not the $1000 option you get with the 855. Personally I welcome a 5g SOC at a lesser price. Sure Samsung isn't the best chipmaker but I'll consider it if I can pay $500 or less for a 5g smartphone in the future. Not too excited yet, the test areas which are supposed to be great are still pretty much worthless unless you are next to one of the antennas. As I recall not much more than a few hundred feet right now.

14. jiangqiushi

Posts: 21; Member since: May 28, 2019

Can sammy not to use such a Huawei-ish name?

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