IFA 2019, which officially opens its doors to the public tomorrow, is not only about the latest hardware, but also the components that power them. To that end Samsung is the first major manufacturer to showcase its latest piece of mobile silicon – the Exynos 980.
This new offering is noteworthy for two reasons in particular, it supports next-gen AI applications and perhaps more importantly features a 5G modem integrated into the design. As such Samsung devices which feature this chipset will not require a separate modem in order to take care of the broadband connectivity.
Moving forward then all Samsung flagship phones, and potentially some mid-range devices, will feature silicon similar to this, which would then make 5G the standard for future devices from the South Korean firm.
As for the specifics of the Exynos 980, it is built on an 8nm architecture, which is slightly larger than what Qualcomm and Huawei have mustered for their offerings, but this is likely down to the fact that Samsung has had to account for the modem.
Speaking of which it supports broadband connectivity ranging from 2G to 5G, with the company also noting up to Gigabit speeds while on LTE and up to 2.55Gbps on sub-6GHz 5G networks.
As for the AI functionality, an onboard neural processing unit (NPU) will handle any AI-specific tasks, which Samsung says is 2.7 times faster than its predecessor. Photographers will also be pleased to hear that the Exynos 980 can handle up to five lenses on a device, as well as up to 108MP.
Samsung did not mention when this new silicon will be available in a commercial device, but if past releases are anything to go by, the likely landing spot is next year’s Galaxy S flagship at MWC 2020.
What should also prove interesting is whether Samsung will continue to split up models in terms of broadband connectivity, with a 5G-supporting variant appearing alongside the regular and Plus versions.
For now we need to wait to see if Huawei can match Samsung’s new chipset, with the former expected to introduce new mobile silicon later this week.