Samsung today unveiled its first 5G integrated processor, the Exynos 980. This is the company’s first mobile processor that has an integrated 5G modem. That’s different from existing solutions which require a separate 5G modem to be coupled with the processor.
There are some obvious advantages to opting for a mobile processor that has an integrated 5G modem. Crucially, though, it will pave the way for 5G to trickle down to more affordable devices. The Galaxy A90 5G is currently the only non-flagship device with 5G. It also has a separate 5G modem and costs over $700.
Exynos 980 is coming to democratize 5G
The Exynos 980 is based on Samsung’s 8-nanometer FinFET process technology. It has an octacore processor with two 2.2GHz Cortex-A77 cores and six 1.80GHz Cortex-A55 cores. There’s a Mali-G76 MP5 GPU and support for UFS 2.1 storage. There’s WQHD+ (3360×1440) display support and the chip can drive either a single camera system of up to 108MP or a 20MP + 20MP dual camera system.
Samsung is also hyping up the onboard neural processing unit which handles AI tasks. It claims a performance gain of up to 2.7 times compared to the predecessor. The new NPU will improve intelligent camera features, user authentication, content filtering and more.
What’s most interesting about the Exynos 980 is its integrated 5G modem. Since a separate modem will no longer be required, this will help reduce power consumption and increase space efficiency inside the device. This modem can handle 5G to 2G networks with gigabit downlink speeds in 4G LTE and up to 2.55 Gbps in sub-6-GHz 5G. There’s also support for E-UTRA-NR Dual Connectivity (EN-DC) which can combine 2CC LTE and 5G to achieve maximum mobile downlink speeds of up to 3.55 Gbps. The Exynos 980 also gets support for the new Wi-Fi 6 standard which allows for improved speeds and greater stability.
Samsung says that it will begin mass production of the Exynos 980 by the end of this year. So it’s quite likely that we will see handsets with this processor ship early next year. Could any of 2020 Galaxy A series models feature this chipset? That may very well be the case.