Samsung today unveiled its next-gen flagship Exynos chipset, the Exynos 9820. The octa-core chip features three different clusters of CPU to manage different types of workload efficiently. Apart from coming with a massively improved GPU, it also has a cutting-edge LTE modem with support for up to 2Gbps downlink speeds.
The tri-cluster of the Exynos 9820 comprises of four low-power Cortex-A55 SoC along with a dual-core Cortex-A75 cluster. Then there’s also a third CPU cluster comprising of two of Samsung’s own fourth-generation custom CPU cores for heavy loads. Samsung says thanks to its intelligent task scheduler, the multi-core performance on the Exynos 9820 is up by 15 percent when compared to the Exynos 9810, with the single-core performance of its custom CPU up by 20 percent. Or it can be up to 40 percent more power efficient.
On the GPU side, there’s a Mali-G76 MP12 GPU featuring wider execution engines with double the number of lanes compared to Exynos 9810. This results in a 40 percent improvement in performance or a 35 percent improvement in power efficiency.
The Exynos 9820 is the first chip from Samsung to feature a dedicated NPU that will be used for processing AI and ML tasks. Samsung says it will be using the NPU to “expand AI capabilities” of its devices which will include enhancing photos and offering advanced AR features.
Interestingly, the Exynos 9820 is fabricated on 8nm LPP FinFET design which reduces power consumption by 10 percent when compared to Samsung’s 10nm LPP process. Samsung has further managed to improve the power efficiency of the chip by reducing voltage leaking. Qualcomm’s upcoming chip, the Snapdragon 8150 or 855 is based on the 7nm fabrication process from TSMC, with Apple’s existing A12 Bionic also being based on it. Samsung did announce that its 7nm foundries where ready so it is a bit strange to see the company advertising the Exynos 9820 as being fabricated on 8nm LPP.
The new ISP in Exynos 9820 supports up to five sensors and offers even faster auto-focus. It is complemented by the NPU for all AI-related tasks for improving the overall quality of photos. The multi-format codec (MFC) of the Exynos 9820 is capable of encoding and decoding 8K videos at 30fps. It can also render colors in 10-bit.
In terms of connectivity, the Exynos 9820 features an LTE-A Pro modem which supports Cat.20 downlink speeds of up to 2Gbps with 8x carrier aggregation and uplink speeds of up to 316Mbps. Other notable specs of the integrated modem include 4×4 MIMO, 256-QAM, and eLAA support. For improved security, there’s a physically unclonable function (PUF) on the Exynos 9820 for storing personal data in isolation.
The Exynos 9820 will enter into mass production by the end of this year. It will be used by Samsung inside the European and Asian models of the Galaxy S10.