Samsung announces the Exynos 980 SoC with an integrated 5G modem
5G is a big trend in smartphones right now and Samsung has been no stranger to it. The company has launched a couple of 5G-capable devices, but they’ve all required a separate modem (the Snapdragon X50 usually) for 5G connectivity. Now, Samsung has announced a new SoC that includes a CPU, GPU, NPU, and a multimode 5G modem: the Exynos 980.
Huawei’s Kirin 990 is expected to have an integrated 5G modem and Qualcomm has yet to announce an SoC with built-in 5G, so Samsung is a bit ahead of the game. The Exynos 980 boasts up to 2.55 Gbps download speeds and 1.28 Gbps upload speeds using sub-6 GHz frequencies (the modem does not integrate mmWave antennas). It can also get gigabit download speeds on 4G LTE, and it supports the new Wi-Fi 6 standard IEEE 802.11ax.
The SoC is manufactured on an 8nm LPP process. On the performance front, the Exynos 980 has two ARM Cortex-A77 CPU cores (@2.2GHz) and six ARM Cortex-A55 cores (@1.8GHz). The 980 is thus the first SoC announced with the Cortex-A77, beating Huawei to the punch. The CPU is joined by a Mali-G76MP5 GPU for gaming and mixed reality. This is the same GPU as found in flagship SoCs like the Kirin 980, though it has about half the cores so it won’t be as powerful. The NPU (neural processing unit) is also built-in for AI tasks to be processed on the device rather than being sent to a server. Photography is also a focus with the 980 as it supports up to 5 sensors, can encode and decode [email protected] videos, and can process up to 108MP snapshots.
Overall, Samsung says the Exynos 980 performs 2.7 times better than its predecessor. This chip is positioned in the upper mid-range market. We should see this chip in devices next year, if not sooner. 5G is obviously a big part of mobile technology right now, and Samsung is making sure they’re on the train.