Samsung Electronics took the wraps off its latest flagship processor, Exynos 9 Series 9810, touting its “ultra-fast gigabit LTE modem and deep learning-enhanced image processing”.

Built using Samsung’s second-generation 10-nanometer FinFET process, the chip will be a “key catalyst for innovation in smart platforms such as smartphones, personal computing and automotive for the coming AI era” said Ben Hur, VP of System LSI marketing for the South Korean giant.

According to Samsung, Exynos 9810 is currently in mass production. This means it is likely to be used in Samsung’s next flagship, Galaxy S9, which is expected to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February 2018.

But Samsung also uses Qualcomm chips in its flagship devices, meaning some Galaxy S9 units are likely to use the US player’s Snapdragon 845 processors instead of the Exynos chips.

Core improvements
Samsung said Exynos 9810 features a brand new octacore processor, with four high-power cores running at up to 2.9GHz and four efficiency cores. It said an architecture which widens the pipeline and improves cache memory means single-core performance is enhanced two-fold and multi-core performance is increased by around 40 per cent compared to its predecessor.

Also highlighted were “sophisticated features” to support neural network-based deep learning. This enables the processor to recognise accurately people or items in photos for fast image searching or categorisation, or through depth sensing, to scan a user’s face for hybrid face detection – enabling a face unlock feature similar to that included on Apple’s iPhone X.

For added security, the chip uses a separate security processing unit to safeguard personal data such as face, iris and fingerprint information.

The LTE modem included in Exynos 9810 is said to offer speeds of up to 1.2Gb/s, and is the industry’s first Cat-18 LTE modem to support up to six-carrier aggregation. Other supported technologies include 4×4 MIMO, 256QAM, and enhanced LAA (Licensed-Assisted Access).

Dedicated image processing and mult-format codec will offer improved imaging capabilities, including video recording and playback at up to UHD resolution at 120fps. With 10-bit high efficiency video coding and VP9 format support, it can render 1,024 different tones for each primary colour, which translates to “a vast 1.07 billion possibilities of colours” – a 64-times increase over the 16.7 million of 8-bit.