Samsung has unveiled a new “premium mobile processor” that could power the company’s next-gen flagship phones — at least in some markets. The company has a habit of releasing phones with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips in the US while using its own Exynos processors in other markets.

Anyway, the new Samsung Exynos 990 seems like a significant step forward in just about all respects.

It’s a 7nm processor that Samsung says should offer a 20-percent overall performance boost over the company’s previous-gen processors thanks, in part, to a new “tri-cluster CPU structure” with:

  • 2 x high-performance custom CPU cores
  • 2 x high-performance ARM Cortex-A76 CPU cores
  • 4 x power-efficient ARM Cortex-A55 CPU cores

The processor also features an ARM Mali-G77 GPU which Samsung says brings either a 20-percent boost in graphics performance and/or a 20-percent improvement in power efficiency.

And there’s a dual-core neural processing unit for on-device machine learning, plus an improved digital signal processor.

Other features include support for LPDDR5 memory with data rates up to 5,500 MB/s, a display driver with support for up to a 120 Hz screen refresh rate, and an image signal processor capable of handling devices with up to six cameras and support for photographs up to 108 megapixels.

Samsung is also introducing a new 5G modem called the 5G Exynos Modem 5123 which will likely be paired with the Exynos 990 processor in some upcoming phones.

Both the Exynos 990 and the new 5G Exynos Modem 5123 are scheduled to go into mass production by the end of 2019.

In other words, Samsung may not be ready to talk about the Galaxy S11 or Galaxy Note 11 yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one or both of those 2020 smartphones has a 120 Hz display and support for seriously high-res photography, among other things.


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3 replies on “Samsung’s new Exynos 990 mobile chip could bring performance boost, 120 Hz display support”

  1. Damn, still a Mali GPU. It’s not that they are not fast… on paper. It’s just that basically nothing supports it. The one in 8895 has 20 freaking GPU cores, yet it can’t run dolphin decently, and the new Citra emu that gets 60 FPS on a S835 gets about 6-10 FPS on the 8895.

  2. So basically, every flagship’s going to have a 90Hz – 120Hz capable display when they come out next year.

    1. Hopefully not.
      I can notice a pretty good difference/upgrade with 120Hz on the Razer Phone 1 and 2, and ASUS RoG Phone 2. Never got to see the original ASUS RoG Phone 1. But the 90Hz screen on my OnePlus 7 Pro is pretty disappointing in comparison. It barely looks or feels faster than 60Hz screen, say on the iPhone 8 Plus or Note9 which I also have access to. There’s many people praising 90Hz screens, and its just Pure BS made to get people excited for ad-revenue and extra sales. The biggest thing I do notice is a slight battery life hit on my OnePlus 7 Pro going from 60Hz to 90Hz.

      So hopefully most devices stick to 60Hz screen, and all the high-end/flagship/luxury devices move straight to 120Hz with V-sync/Freesync support baked in. A 120Hz screen is justified because the smoothness is much more pronounced and noticeable (ie/ it’s not just a cheap marketing ploy).

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