Exynos 9810: SoC of the Samsung Galaxy S9 scratching at the 3 GHz mark

Exynos 9810: SoC of the Samsung Galaxy S9 scratching at the 3 GHz mark
Samsung introduced the system-on-a-chip Exynos 9810, which was only briefly touched on last year in November, today in detail. As expected in advance, the Galaxy S9 chip uses the third generation of Samsung developed Exynos cores and operates at up to 2.9 GHz. The graphics performance should increase by 20 percent.

The Exynos 9810 is ready and mass produced, as Samsung announced today. The group’s smartphone division now also has a chip for the European and Asian versions of the Galaxy S9, while Qualcomm’s recently introduced Snapdragon 845 will be used in the US. Both SoCs are already running on tape from Samsung, both of which come from the energy-efficient 10LPP FinFET production (second generation 10 nm Low Power Plus), which recently started.

Up to 2.9 GHz for the Exynos M3

This may also be the reason that Samsung can operate the new performance cores Exynos M3 with up to 2.9 GHz. This is almost 600 MHz more than the direct predecessor Exynos 8895 and still 300 MHz more compared to the Exynos 8890, which could boost two of its performance cores over the standard clock of 2.3 GHz to 2.6 GHz. Samsung beats the US competition in the form of the Snapdragon 845 by 100 MHz. Qualcomm’s ARM Cortex-A75 based Qualcomm cryo-385 CPU provides 2.8GHz.

Samsung does not reveal whether the Exynos M3, like the Cryo-385 CPU, is also based on the ARM Cortex-A75. According to the information provided on the Samsung website, this is not the case. Apart from the four performance cores of the type Exynos M3, the Exynos 9810 also offers four efficiency cores of the type ARM Cortex-A55. There is thus a tie for the Snapdragon 845, however, Samsung allows the small cores again 100 MHz more and thus up to 1.9 GHz. In the end, Samsung speaks of a roughly doubled single-core performance and a 40 percent increase in multi-core performance.

20 percent higher graphics performance thanks to new ARM GPU

The new GPU of the Exynos 9810 probably also has a higher clock speed, because Samsung has decided to reduce the number of shader clusters from 20 to 18. Instead of the Mali G71 MP20 now the newer Mali G72 MP18 is used. However, with the same number of shader clusters, the Bifrost architecture-based Mali-G72 already delivers higher performance. Between Exynos 8895 and Exynos 9810, the graphics performance according to Samsung has been increased by 20 percent.

New LTE modem creates 200 Mbps upstream

Which LTE modem in the Exynos 9810 is already known since the end of July last year when Samsung introduced a Cat.-18 modem with no associated SoC. The LTE modem handles six times carrier aggregation (CA) for up to 1.2 Gbps downstream. Samsung competes in this area with the Snapdragon X20 from Qualcomm and the Huawei Kirin 970 LTE Advanced Pro modem. To achieve this speed requires a 4 × 4 MIMO antenna layout and the support of 256 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation). The modem can also be operated as in the models of competitors in unlicensed spectrum. Samsung’s two-fold CA in the upstream is interesting so that for the first time a speed of 200 Mbit / s instead of before a maximum of 150 Mbit / s is offered.

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Samsung sees the Exynos 9810 not only as a fast CPU and GPU workhorse, but also wants to have the chip-equipped for deep learning tasks. Samsung does it the same Qualcomm and unlike Huawei or Apple waives a dedicated Neural Processing Unit and distributes the tasks to other components. Nevertheless, the chip should, for example, quickly detect objects or persons in photos and search and categorize them faster. For the first time, the Exynos 9810 also processes depth information for the 3D scan of a face, which can be used to process face-tracking features or unlock the device. These features are reminiscent of Apple’s Animoji and Face ID of the iPhone X. Accordingly, similar features could be installed in the Galaxy S9.

Samsung promises better photos

For photo and video recordings, the Exynos 9810 provides two image processors (ISP – Image Signal Processor), which was also the case in the Exynos 8895 of the Galaxy S8 and S8 + (test). Supported are each a camera with 24 megapixels on the back and front or a dual camera with 16 megapixels. Samsung promises through the bank ” drastically ” improved results for photos. Videos can be recorded in Ultra HD with up to 120 FPS, whereby the codecs 10-bit HEVC (H.265), H.264 and VP9 can be encoded and decoded as before. Which features of it will ultimately be found in the Galaxy S9 is left to Samsung’s smartphone division. Only because the system-on-a-chip controls certain functions, these are not necessarily used in a terminal.

Security processing unit with firewalls

Last but not least, Samsung has donated the chip to a Security Processing Unit (SPU), which, as a further stage of previous safeguards, is intended to protect against manipulation of the system. An SPU is also found in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845. Samsung is talking about improved encryption and firewalls designed to isolate subsystems. For example, the LTE modem and WLAN module should have been specially secured to prevent access to the main system.

The Exynos 9810 is already in mass production at Samsung Foundry and is expected to be used first in the Galaxy S9, although this has not been officially confirmed by Samsung. However, in the past few years, this has always been the usual procedure for the Exynos 8895 or Exynos 8890.

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