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Samsung just unveiled the speedy processor that will power the Galaxy S11 and Note 11

Published Oct 24th, 2019 6:50AM EDT
Galaxy S11 Specs vs. iPhone 11 Pro
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Samsung on Wednesday made a series of announcements at Tech Day 2019 concerning the next-gen processors, RAM, and storage solutions that will power future mobile devices. Included in the list of novelties is the brand new Exynos 990 processor and the 5G Exynos Modem 5123, which will likely power next year’s Samsung flagships, like the Galaxy S11 and Note 11. Both the 990 and the 5123 are built on 7nm EUV process technology, just like competing solutions from Apple (iPhone 11’s A13 chip) and Huawei (Mate 30 Pro’s Kirin 990).

The Exynos 990 and Modem 5123 are “specifically tailored for future mobile devices that will make intensive use of video and artificial intelligence (AI) as well as 5G communications,” Samsung said in a press release.

In practice, we’re looking at a 20% boost from the CPU, which includes two high-performance Cortex-A76 chips and four power-efficient Cortex-A55 chips. On the GPU side, we have the ARM Mali-G77 GPU, which is the first premium mobile graphics chip based on the Valhall architecture, and which will deliver up to 20% increased performance and power efficiency.
The Exynos 990 also teases one potential new feature of the upcoming Galaxy S11 and Note 11 phones, and that’s a display with a high refresh rate. The chip packs a 120Hz refresh-rate display driver, which is the kind of refresh you expect from Android gaming phones. The screen tech might also be used on foldable handsets of the future, Samsung teases:

The processor also features a 120Hz refresh-rate display driver, which makes games come alive by reducing screen tearing and enabling smoother animations even on devices with multiple displays, such as foldable phones.

On the photography front, we’re looking at a new image signal processor (ISP) that supports up to six image sensors with concurrent processing on three of them, as well as resolutions of up to 108-megapixels.

Additionally, the new chip contains a “top-class” dual-core neural processing unit (NPU) and an improved digital signal processor (DSP) that can perform over 10 trillion operations per second. Thus, the Galaxy S11 should support on-device AI features, whether it comes to voice assistants, photography, and anything else that can benefit from AI. This should increase security and efficiency and reduce the need for sending data to other servers for AI features.

One other significant advantage of the Exynos 990 is RAM memory. The chip can handle LPDDR5 memory, which means data speeds can go up to 5,500Mbps.

The 5G modem, meanwhile, supports 5G speeds of up to 5.1Gbps in sub-6GHz and up to 7.35Gbps in mmWave. Top speed drops to 3Gbps on 4G LTE.

Samsung didn’t say when the Exynos 990 will be available, or what devices it’ll power, but it sure looks like the kind of chip that will be found on all of its 2020 flagships.

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.