Samsung announces the Exynos 9610 SoC with 480FPS slow-motion video recording
Samsung’s flagship Exynos 9 series SoCs are used in the international variants of its flagship phones. The company also makes mid-range Exynos 7 series SoCs, which are used in its mid-range Galaxy A series. For example, the Galaxy A8 and the A8+ (2018) are powered by the Exynos 7885 system-on-chip, while the international variants of the Galaxy S9 and the S9+ are powered by the Exynos 9810 SoC. Now, Samsung has announced the Exynos 9610, a new SoC in the mid-range Exynos 7 series.
The Exynos 9610 is manufactured on Samsung’s 10nm FinFET process. It has four ARM Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.3GHz and four ARM-Cortex A53 cores. The clock speed of the Cortex-A53 cores hasn’t been detailed yet. The SoC features ARM’s second-generation ‘Bifrost’ Mali-G72 GPU, although the GPU core count and clock speeds are currently unknown.
Samsung states that the Exynos 9610 has deep learning-based image processing for better photo-taking experiences. Vision and image processing is now coupled with a neural network engine for “more intelligently enhanced face detection,” as well as single camera out-focusing and augmented low-light images. The face detection feature enables the camera to recognize faces that are either not facing forward or partially covered with objects. It also has “smart depth sensing” to create bokeh with a single camera.
Interestingly, the company also states that the Exynos 9610’s vision and image processing merges multiple frames to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and brightness that can improve photos taken in low light.
The second major feature of the Exynos 9610 is 480FPS slow-motion video recording in Full HD resolution. Despite using a conventional two-stack image sensor, the SoC is able to encode slow-motion video thanks to the 1.6x improved performance of its ISP and “more-than-doubled” speed of its mobile industry processor interface (MIPI). It also uses MFC to enable encoding and decoding up to 4K 120FPS, although it’s highly unlikely that shipping phones will actually have the feature of encoding 4K 120FPS (considering that 4K 120FPS is not enabled on the Exynos variant of the Galaxy S9).
The SoC also has an embedded Cortex-M4F-based low-power sensor hub that enables always-on sensing applications that require instant feedback (such as gesture recognition or context awareness). The hub is said to efficiently manage the sensors in real-time without waking up the main processor.
In terms of connectivity, the Exynos 9610 features Cat.12 3CA (carrier aggregation) at 600Mbps downlink and Cat.13 2CA at 150Mbps uplink. It also has 802.11ac 2.2 MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and FM radio. The chip has a 4-mode Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS) receiver that includes GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, and Galileo.
“The Exynos 7 Series 9610 is our latest mobile processor that delivers on added power and speed,” Ben Hur (vice president of System LSI marketing at Samsung Electronics) stated. “But more importantly, it sets a new performance standard for high-end devices with its deep learning vision-image processing solution and slow motion video capabilities that change the way we engage with our mobile devices.”
Samsung states that the Exynos 7 Series 9610 is expected to be mass produced in the second half of this year. It may be positioned as a successor to the Exynos 7885, which is currently used in the Galaxy A8 (2018). Crucial details about the SoC still remain unknown (such as the GPU core configuration), and we will update this article when Samsung unveils more details. Overall, it’s good to see Samsung’s mid-range SoCs getting premium features such as 480FPS slow-motion video recording and image processing improvements.