Both products are built using an advanced 7-nanometer EUV process technology. They promise performance and accelerated product development for mobile device manufacturers. Samsung notes that the Exynos 990 uses an embedded Arm Mali-G77 GPU, which is the fist premium GPU on the new Valhall architecture.
The new architecture for the GPU promises improved graphics performance and power-efficient by up to 20%. The GPU gains are in addition to an overall 20% performance boost from a tri-cluster CPU structure that consists of two custom cores, two high-performance Cortex-A76 cores, and four power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores. Samsung's Exynos 990 also makes on-device AI possible with a dual-core neural processing unit (NPU) and an improved digital signal processor capable of performing more than ten-trillion operations per second.
Samsung's NPU will enable localized AI on a smartphone or other mobile device and allow data to be processed on the device. The company says the NPU will enhance facial recognition and scene detection for photography.
The new modem is the 5G Exynos Model 5123 and it is one of the first to be made using a 7nm EUV process. It supports "virtually all" networks, including 5G sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrums to 2G GSM/CDMA, 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HSPA, and 4G LTE. When used on a 5G network that supports 8-carrier aggregation, the modem can deliver download speeds of up to 5.1 Gbps in sub-6-GHz or 7.35 Gbps in mmWave networks.
The modem also supports 3.0 Gbps in 4G networks with higher-order 1024 QAM. To support the high data speeds the modem provides, the Exynos 990 processor has memory bandwidth that supports LPDDR5 data rates of up to 5,500 Mb/s. The 990 also has a 120Hz refresh-rate display driver and an advanced onboard image signal processor supporting six individual image sensors and up to 108MP resolution. Interestingly, the Exynos 5123 5G modem (or an LTE modem for that matter) is not integrated into the Exynos 990. The Exynos 9820 had at least an LTE modem integrated, so perhaps Samsung is experiencing greater packaging gains by going with separate chips this time around at 7nm.
Both the Exynos 990 and Exynos Modem 5123 are expected to begin mass production by the end of the year. The new chip and modem are the replacement for the Exynos 9820 used in the Galaxy S10 line and will likely be destined for the Galaxy S11.