Exynos 980 – Everything you want to know about Samsung’s First 5G-Integrated Processor


Samsung has officially launched its new mobile processor — Exynos 980. It’s the company’s first mobile processor that has an integrated 5G modem.

Previously the processors have only been 5G-ready chips that would need a separate 5G modem. Huawei’s upcoming Kirin 990 is also supposed to have built-in 5G modem. The fact is that the built-in modem will require less space in design and will perform better with low consumption.

“Exynos 980 is Samsung’s first artificial intelligence (AI) mobile processor with an integrated 5G modem. Rather than being coupled with a separate 5G modem, the 5G-enabled Exynos 980 not only helps reduce power consumption but also increase the space efficiency within a device.”

Based on advanced 8-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology, Samsung promises, the Exynos 980 will deliver a fast gigabit downlink speed in 4G LTE and up to 2.55 Gbps in 5G in 6 GHz spectrum. With the support of EN-DC (E-UTRA-NR Dual Connectivity), the modem will maximize the downlink speed of up to 3.55 Gbps. It combines the 2CC LTE and 5G connectivity to reach that downlink speed.

Exynos 980 supports a new WiFi 6 standard — IEEE 802.11ax, that also provides faster speed and stability for online gaming and video streaming on Wi-Fi networks.

Exynos 980 Modules
Image: Samsung

The new processor packs with two high-performance Cortex-A77 CPU cores and six power efficient Cortex-A55 cores. Mali-G76 GPU is also there for gaming and mixed reality experiences. The neural processing unit (NPU) is also built-in for AI tasks. According to the company, Exynos 980 NPU can perform 2.7 times better than its predecessor.

Well a dedicated image signal processor (ISP) is also built-in for better photography. The ISP can process up to 108 million pixel mages and it can support up to five individual camera sensors. However it can can process three of them concurrently.

“Along with the NPU, the AI-powered camera is able to detect and understand scenes or objects, according to which the camera will then make optimal adjustments to its settings.”

Samsung Exynos 980 5G Processor
Image: Samsung

Exynos 980 comes with multi-format codec (MFC) that supports 4K UHD video encoding and decoding at 120 frames per second (fps). The upgraded HDR10+ support comes with dynamic mapping that offers detailed colors in video content.

The Exynos 980 is expected to begin mass production by the end of this year.

While Huawei is all set to announce its own 5G-integrated processor, Samsung has just did it a couple of days before. Considering “5G” is the next standard of connectivity, the world is already looking forward to it very actively. However it’s worth noting that the 5G roll-out is far from existence, as well as some states (notably U.S.) have concerns with their national security issues. Let’s see who’s coming next.

Exynos 980 Specifications

  • CPU
    • 2.2GHz Dual-core (Cortex®-A77)
    • 1.8GHz Hexa-core (Cortex®-A55)
  • GPU: Mali-G76 MP5
  • NPU: Integrated
  • Process: 8nm FinFET
  • Display: WQHD+ (3360×1440)
  • Modem: 5G/4G
    • NR Sub-6GHz 2.55Gbps (DL) / 1.28Gbps (UL)
    • EN-DC 3.55Gbps (DL) / 1.38Gbps (UL)
    • LTE Cat.16 5CA 1Gbps (DL) / Cat.18 2CA 200Mbps (UL)
  • Storage: UFS 2.1, eMMC 5.1
  • Memory: LPDDR4x
  • Camera: Single-camera up to 108Mp,
  • Dual-camera: 20MP+20MP
  • Video: 4K UHD 120fps encoding and decoding with HEVC(H.265), H.264, VP9
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