Samsung: Exynos 2100 is here to prove Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 isn't the only bigshot...

nanoguy

Posts: 740   +12
Staff member
TL;DR: The Exynos 990 was a failure due to its inferior performance when compared to Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips, but this time Samsung promises that its latest mobile chipset has been designed to "surpass the power user's performance expectations." On paper, it does look like a compelling upgrade, but only time will tell if it measures up to the Snapdragon 888.

Samsung has announced the latest Exynos SoC that will power its next crop of flagship Galaxy smartphones, the Exynos 2100. The new chip is built on a 5nm EUV process node and is a different beast than previous Exynos chips in that it's designed completely around Arm's latest Cortex cores.

This is possibly in response to numerous complaints and petitions that demanded Samsung drop Exynos mobile platforms as it wasn't quite comparable with Qualcomm chips in terms of performance per watt, image processing, and thermals. Additionally, the Korean tech giant has chosen to integrate the 5G modem into the chipset, whereas the Exynos 990 relied on a separate part.

The new Exynos 2100 SoC is built on a tri-cluster architecture with one top-performance Arm Cortex-X1 core that runs at up to 2.9 GHz, three high-performance Cortex-A78 cores that run at up to 2.8 GHz, and four power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores. Samsung says this configuration provides a sizable 30 percent performance uplift compared to the Exynos 990.

The GPU is based on the Arm Mali G78MP14, which is also found in Huawei's Kirin 9000 SoC. Here it only used 14 of the available 24 cores, as Samsung is trying to hit lower power consumption figures and improve battery life. To that end, the company also employs the in-house built AMIGO multi-IP governor which balances performance and power usage according to what happens on-screen. Overall, this should provide a 40 percent performance uplift compared to the previous generation.

The image signal processing capabilities of the Exynos 2100 are definitely impressive on paper, as Samsung says it supports sensor resolutions of up to 200 megapixels and can work with as many as six sensors (and only four sensors simultaneously). But more importantly, the company promises this can best the Snapdragon 888 through the ability to capture 4K video at 120 fps and 8K at 60 fps.

The new chip also comes with a better neural processing unit capable of up to 26 trillion operations per second with better efficiency when compared to the Exynos 990, which means it's comparable to the Hexagon 780 neural processing unit found in the Snapdragon 888 SoC. As for the 5G modem, it supports both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrums while delivering download speeds of up to 5.1 Gbps and 7.35 Gbps, respectively.

During the announcement, Samsung praised its renewed partnership with Arm in developing the Exynos 2100, which is expected to power the Galaxy S21.

The South Korean giant also offered an updated timeframe for when we might see AMD Radeon graphics in its smartphones: not until 2022.

Permalink to story.

 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 416   +792
One thing that I like of Exynos powered devices is that for some weird reason, Samsung allows the bootloader to be unlocked, yet it doesnt allow that on SnapDragons.

If they release their new phones and tablets with this Exynos and allow the bootloader to be unlocked, I will get one right away!
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 679   +582
Finally an end to second rate crapnyos SoC. I may finally update my S7 Edge. In Australia we had no choice as we only got crapnyos not SD, although they did release the 5G S20 FE in Australia with SD865 but the phone is plagued by issues and you still wouldn't buy it.
 

Gomos

Posts: 58   +92
A healthy dose of skepticism, but about time Samsung actually tried to be competitive
They are just runner-ups in the most wildly complicated technology humankind ever developed, and yet you say they are "not trying"...
 

Tom Yum

Posts: 86   +205
With both Qualcomm and Samsung giving up on custom cores and relying on pure ARM core designs, I expected Exynos 2100 and Snapdragon 888 (and future updates of both) to be comparable outside of differences between TSMC and Samsung process nodes.
 

SirDigby

Posts: 787   +587
They are just runner-ups in the most wildly complicated technology humankind ever developed, and yet you say they are "not trying"...
I'm exaggerating to make a point of how far behind they are, they may be runner-ups, but its a race with very few horses... who else is in the game, MediaTek, Huawei and Apple, but Apple are exclusively their own products, so that leaves 4 competitors, Samsung already had the biggest android market share before pushing their custom chips so biggest room to grow. MediaTek are focused on cheaper markets where connectivity and affordability are more important than performance, and Huawei are getting forced to use only MediaTek or develop their own due to sanctions. It wasn't that difficult for Samsung to be a runner up.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 292   +393
With both Qualcomm and Samsung giving up on custom cores and relying on pure ARM core designs, I expected Exynos 2100 and Snapdragon 888 (and future updates of both) to be comparable outside of differences between TSMC and Samsung process nodes.
They're both made with Samsung's node.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 292   +393
I'm exaggerating to make a point of how far behind they are, they may be runner-ups, but its a race with very few horses... who else is in the game, MediaTek, Huawei and Apple, but Apple are exclusively their own products, so that leaves 4 competitors, Samsung already had the biggest android market share before pushing their custom chips so biggest room to grow. MediaTek are focused on cheaper markets where connectivity and affordability are more important than performance, and Huawei are getting forced to use only MediaTek or develop their own due to sanctions. It wasn't that difficult for Samsung to be a runner up.
Intel intermittently tries, Nvidia, too. There is a lot more competition in mobile processing than desktop. Which is why Intel got so complacent they didn't evolve PC for almost a decade.
 

SirDigby

Posts: 787   +587
Intel intermittently tries, Nvidia, too. There is a lot more competition in mobile processing than desktop. Which is why Intel got so complacent they didn't evolve PC for almost a decade.
Wasn't the last holdout for Intel mobile chips the Windows phones, that got discontinued in 2015? They insisted on non-ARM based chips which basically ostricised itself from the market as nothing would run on it.
Nvidia yeah fair play I did forget about them, but they haven't really done anything big in a while, they had the Tegra X1 and K1 which grabbed a tiny portion of tablet OEMs - Google Pixel C and the gaming Tablets like the Nvidia Shield and I think the Razer equivalent, but didn't really penetrate the market in any worthy sense. I think they've since repurposed the Tegra line for Car tech, powering the autonomous cars and ecosystems.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 292   +393
Wasn't the last holdout for Intel mobile chips the Windows phones, that got discontinued in 2015? They insisted on non-ARM based chips which basically ostricised itself from the market as nothing would run on it.
Nvidia yeah fair play I did forget about them, but they haven't really done anything big in a while, they had the Tegra X1 and K1 which grabbed a tiny portion of tablet OEMs - Google Pixel C and the gaming Tablets like the Nvidia Shield and I think the Razer equivalent, but didn't really penetrate the market in any worthy sense. I think they've since repurposed the Tegra line for Car tech, powering the autonomous cars and ecosystems.
My point was that all the big tech players are in mobile (AMD not yet, but allegedly in a year or two), Samsung have been right up there in the top or nearby for over ten years. That's pretty impressive as they're also the only one of them doing everything in-house. So, they have to keep up on all fronts, not just a custom ARM GPU or such.
 

Gomos

Posts: 58   +92
I'm exaggerating to make a point of how far behind they are, they may be runner-ups, but its a race with very few horses... who else is in the game, MediaTek, Huawei and Apple, but Apple are exclusively their own products, so that leaves 4 competitors, Samsung already had the biggest android market share before pushing their custom chips so biggest room to grow. MediaTek are focused on cheaper markets where connectivity and affordability are more important than performance, and Huawei are getting forced to use only MediaTek or develop their own due to sanctions. It wasn't that difficult for Samsung to be a runner up.
All those are fabless, I did not consider them to be in the same game. I was actually thinking of TSMC vs. Samsung vs. (maybe) Intel, and enablers like ASML. I don't find chip design to be nearly as impressive as the multidisciplinary effort of actual manufacturing.
 

SirDigby

Posts: 787   +587
All those are fabless, I did not consider them to be in the same game. I was actually thinking of TSMC vs. Samsung vs. (maybe) Intel, and enablers like ASML. I don't find chip design to be nearly as impressive as the multidisciplinary effort of actual manufacturing.
Fair play!
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 679   +582
Already tests showing the SD888 is terrible on power efficiency and although very fast heat will kill the performance very quickly with severe throttling and battery life will be worse than SD865. I hope Scamsung can improve this but it's pretty much the same as SD888 other than GPU being Mali rather than Adreno.