Samsung is one of the only Android smartphone manufacturers that has its own semiconductor production. Fresh out of Samsung Foundry is the new Exynos 1080 chipset, which tries to bridge the gap between mid-range and high-end smartphones.
Successor to the Exynos 980, the Exynos 1080 was just unveiled at an event in China. The first phone to be powered by it will also launch in China first, in the form of a Vivo smartphone in early 2021. We expect it to be a part of the X series or the Nex series. The platform integrates the CPU, GPU, NPU, 5G modems as well as the image signal processor.
Exynos 1080 specs and features
As for specifications, the Exynos 1080 is fabricated on a 5nm process and should be significantly more efficient than its 8nm predecessor. Even the new Apple A14 chipset is built on a 5nm node. Samsung has opted for a tri-cluster octa-core configuration with one high-performance Cortex-A78 core clocked at 2.8GHz, three Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.6GHz, and four high-efficiency Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 2GHz. The company claims that the single-core performance has been improved by 50% while the multi-core performance should be better by 100%.
On the graphics front, the Exynos 1080 includes the Mali-G78 MP10 GPU, which is said to be 2.3x better than the Mali-G77 MP11 GPU found on flagship devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. For AI-based tasks, the SoC has a new Neural Processing Unit with theoretical throughputs of up to 5.7 teraflops.
The Exynos 1080 also has an integrated 5G modem with support for both Sub-6GHz (3.67Gbps) and mmWave (5.1Gbps) networks. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. Support for LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage is also available.
It can run a QHD+ display (3360×1440) at 90Hz or an FHD+ panel at 144Hz. Notably, the Exynos 990 could not push a high-resolution display at over 60Hz. Last but not least, the Samsung Exynos 1080’s ISP can support up to six cameras, with up to 200MP resolution or simultaneous shooting with two 32MP sensors. 10-bit 4K 60fps video recording is also enabled with the ability to export in HDR10+.
The early 2021 timeline coincides with the purported launch date of the Samsung Galaxy S21 series.