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Samsung Electronics Unveils 5G Integrated Chip to Face Off against Qualcomm
Volume Production to Start This Year
Samsung Electronics Unveils 5G Integrated Chip to Face Off against Qualcomm
  • By Michael Herh
  • September 5, 2019, 13:00
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The Exynos 980 5G mobile processor from Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics took the wraps off the Exynos 980, a 5G mobile processor that integrates a 5G mobile communication chip and a high-performance mobile application processor (AP).

This is Samsung's first 5G integrated chip. Samsung Electronics started supplying Exinos 980 samples to customers this month and plans to begin its volume production this year.

Earlier, system semiconductor companies such as Qualcomm of the United States and MediaTek of Taiwan announced that they have developed 5G integrated chips that combine 5G communication chips and APs, but no company have yet entered mass production. Qualcomm will supply samples of 5G integrated chips to customers from the second half of this year and commercialize them in the first half of next year.

Accordingly, fierce competition is expected behind the scenes between Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm to become the first company to release 5G integrated chips and take a bigger share of the 5G integrated chip market. In particular, Samsung Electronics plans to narrow its gap with Qualcomm, the world's No. 1 company in mobile APs and modem chips, with this product. The company aims to become the world's No. 1 system semiconductor producer by 2030.

By combining a communication chip and an AP, Samsung's Exynos 980 can boost power efficiency and reduce the area occupied by components. Produced through an advanced 8-nano FinFET process, it supports a wide range of mobile communication standards from 2G to 5G. It supports data communication up to 2.55 Gbps in the 5G environment and up to 1.0G bps in the 4G environment. Downloads are available at up to 3.55 Gbps in 5G and 4G dual connectivity.

The Exynos 980 is loaded with a high performance neural processing unit (NPU), which improves AI computational performance by about 2.7 times. This product can come in handy in environments that need to process large amounts of data quickly such as content filtering that automatically classifies data according to user settings, mixed reality (MR) which provides a new experience by connecting virtual and real worlds, and intelligent cameras.

The Exynos 980 is also equipped with a high performance image signal processor (ISP) capable of processing images of up to 180 million pixels. Up to five image sensors can be connected to the processor and three sensors can be simultaneously run, which makes the Exynos 980 the product best optimized for the ongoing multi-camera trend.