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Samsung just unveiled the Galaxy S10’s processor, and it’s a beast

Published Nov 14th, 2018 6:50AM EST

Samsung is slowly unveiling some of the Galaxy S10 specs well ahead of the phone’s arrival. Last week, Samsung introduced five new types of Infinity displays, including the Infinity Flex screen of the foldable handset but also the Infinity-O display believed to come to at least two of the three Galaxy S10 phone next year. A week later, the company just announced an equally important Galaxy S10 component, the next-gen processor that’s supposed to compete against Apple’s A12 Bionic and the Kirin 980 that power Samsung’s main rivals.

Samsung a few weeks ago announced that it’s ready to manufacture 7nm chips of its own using a different technology than the one used to produce the 7nm A12 Bionic processors of the iPhone XS and XR series. But the Exynos 9 Series 9820 chip isn’t built on the 7nm process. That’s something Samsung kept out of the press release, although the spec is clearly mentioned on the Exynos 9820 minisite. It’s unclear why Samsung is going the 8nm route while its rivals are already on 7nm process when it comes to mobile chips.

But don’t let that 1nm difference fool you. The Exynos 9820 will still be a lot more powerful than its predecessor, packing several improvements compared to the chips Samsung used for the Galaxy S9 and Note 9 this year.

The Exynos 9820 is 20% (single-core) or 15% (multi-core) faster than its predecessor, and 40% more energy-efficient. The CPU comes bundled with a Mali-G76 GPU that will deliver a performance boost of 40% and power savings of 35% over its predecessor, according to Samsung. 

The new chip also supports faster mobile speeds, going up to 2.0Gbps for downloads and 316Mbps for uploads, assuming your carrier can actually deliver such speeds.

Image source: Samsung

Samsung also says that the Exynos 9820’s multi-format codec supports encoding and decoding of 4K UHD video at 150 frames per second, or 8K videos at 30 frames per second, and renders colors in 10-bit “delivering more accurate representation of color by offering a wider range of tones and hues.”

But the main highlight of the Exynos 9820 is artificial intelligence. Just as previously rumored, Samsung’s new chip will come with its own neural processing unit (NPU), which should perform AI tasks up to seven times faster than its predecessor. NPU processing takes place on the device and should help with a variety of AI features, including camera improvements, as well as augmented and virtual reality apps.

The Exynos 9820 will hit mass-production by the end of this year, according to Samsung.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.