Tag Archives: SoC

NXP iMX 8M Plus To Use Kingston eMMC Memory!

Kingston just announced that their eMMC memory has been selected to be used in the NXP iMX 8M Plus reference board!

 

NXP iMX 8M Plus To Use Kingston eMMC Memory!

On 8 April 2021, Kingston Technology announced that their eMMC embedded memory will be featured in NXP iMX 8M Plus evaluation kits.

Although Kingston did not reveal which eMMC part was selected, the picture they released appears to show the EMMC08G-MB29, which boasts these key features :

  • 8 GB capacity
  • 3D TLC in pMLC NAND memory
  • eMMC 5.1 standard
  • 11.5 x 13 x 0.8 mm package size

They will be used as storage in the NXP iMX 8M Plus reference boards, which will be used for development and engineering verification.

 

NXP iMX 8M Plus : What Is It?

The NXP iMX 8M Plus is an application processor – a System-On-a-Chip (SoC) designed for infrastructure solutions like smart home, intelligent city and industrial IoT devices.

  • two or four ARM Cortex-A53 processors (up to 1.8 GHz)
  • a neural processing unit (NPU) operating at up to 2.3 TOPS
  • ARM Cortex-M7 controller (up to 800 MHz)
  • 32-bit DDR4 and LPDDR4 interface (up to 4.0 GT/s)
  • dual image signal processors (ISP) : up to 12 MP, up to 375 MPixels per second
  • two MIPI CSI camera interfaces
  • two Gigabit Ethernet LAN interfaces
  • two USB 3.0 / 2.0 with Type C PHY
  • PCI Express Gen 3 support
  • 14 nm FinFET process

 

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First Look : 2021 MacBook Pro MagSafe 3 + SD Card Slot!

Exclusive on Tech ARP – the first look at the 2021 MacBook Pro ports, including a brand new MagSafe 3 port and an SD card slot!

Here is the first ever look at the MagSafe 3 connector, the SD card slot, and other ports that will ship with the 2021 MacBook Pro!

 

First Look : 2021 MacBook Pro MagSafe 3 + SD Card Slot!

Apple fans who miss the MagSafe port and the SD card reader in their MacBook laptops will have something to cheer for this year!

Apple will not only introduce a new MagSafe 3 connector in the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pro, they will also bring back the SD card slot!

New Apple MagSafe 3 Connector!

The new MagSafe 3 connector is bidirectional and has 5 pins, and will lock and detach magnetically like the previous two generations.

The MagSafe 3 connector is not compatible with older MacBook computers, and has a pill-shaped design with a thinner profile.

The MagSafe 3 port is located on the left side of the 2021 MBP, next to two Thunderbolt 3 (USB4) ports, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Ports on the left side of the 2021 Apple MBP | Copyright : Tech ARP (www.techarp.com)

Return Of The SD Card Reader!

We are also glad to report that Apple will (finally) bring back the SD card reader that many photographers LOVED, and bemoaned when Phil Schiller killed it in 2016.

Now that Schiller is out of Apple, it looks like it’s been resurrected for the 2021 MacBook Pro. Utility finally trumped cumbersome!

The SD card reader is located on the right side, together with a third Thunderbolt 3 (USB4) port and a HDMI 2.0 port.

Ports on the right side of the 2021 Apple MBP | Copyright : Tech ARP (www.techarp.com)

 

2021 Apple MacBook Pro : What Else Is New?

So what else is new in the 2021 MacBook Pro, other than MagSafe 3 and the resurrected SD card reader?

14-inch + 16-inch Models

There will be two 2021 MacBook Pro models – with 14-inch and 16-inch displays.

Apple M1X SoC

There will no longer be Intel CPU options, only the Apple M1X SoC.

Nothing much is known about the Apple M1X, other than it is a more powerful version of the M1 that has stunned many with its performance.

But rumours have it that it will have 12 processor cores, split into two performance clusters :

  • P Cluster (Performance) : 8 x Firestorm (?) cores
  • E Cluster (Efficient) : 4 x Icestorm (?) cores

It will have a more powerful GPU than Apple M1‘s 8-core GPU.

Memory

The Apple M1X will use the same unified memory design as the M1, built directly onto the package for near-instantaneous access.

However, it will offer larger memory options – 24 GB and 32 GB are possible – in addition to 16 GB currently available with the M1.

External Display Support

A big limitation of the Apple M1 is its support for just one external display of up to 6K resolution at 60 Hz.

The 2021 MacBook Pro will support at least two external displays, if not more, via its Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI ports.

OLED Touch Bar Gone!

Good riddance to the pointless OLED Touch Bar. That’s gone for the 2021 MacBook Pro models.

 

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Samsung Exynos 2100 : What You Need To Know!

Samsung just unveiled their Exynos 2100 – the 5G mobile platform which will debut in their new Galaxy S21 smartphones!

Here is what you need to know about the new Samsung Exynos 2100 mobile SoC!

 

Samsung Exynos 2100 : Official Presentation

Let’s start with the official Samsung Exynos 2100 presentation.

This presentation broadcast globally as part of the Exynos On 2021 event, just one day before Samsung unveils the Galaxy S21 smartphones.

 

Samsung Exynos 2100 : What You Need To Know!

The Exynos 2100 is Samsung’s first 5G-integrated flagship mobile platform, fabricated on the latest 5 nm EUV (Extreme Ultra-Violet) process node.

The finer 5 nm process lets it deliver up to 20% lower power consumption, or 10% better performance, than its older 7 nm predecessor.

New Tri-Cluster CPU Architecture

The Samsung Exynos 2100 uses a new tri-cluster CPU architecture, featuring :

  • a new powerful Arm Cortex-X1 core running at up to 2.9 GHz,
  • three sustained performance Arm Cortex-A78 cores running at up to 2.8 GHz, and
  • four power-efficient Arm Cortex-A55 cores running at up to 2.2 GHz

Faster Graphics

The Samsung Exynos 2100 comes with the Arm Mali-G78 GPU, which delivers 40% better performance for gaming, and AR/VR or MR (mixed reality).

Faster AI

It also comes with a new triple-core NPU, which can process up to 26 trillion operations per second (TOPS), with twice the power efficiency of the previous generation.

Faster Memory

The Exynos 2100 supports LPDDR5 memory, with a peak memory speed of 51.2 GB/s.

In addition, Samsung says it has an improved cache and a stronger scheduler for better memory performance and utilisation.

Advanced Image Signal Processor

Its advanced image signal processor (ISP) supports camera resolutions of up to 200 megapixels (MP), and can connect up to six individual sensors.

With a multi-camera and frame processor (MCFP), this ISP can combine feeds from up to four cameras to :

  • improve zoom performance
  • enhance image quality for ultra-wide shots
  • reduce hand shake

With AI acceleration, the ISP can also recognise scenes, faces and objects, automatically adjusting the camera settings for optimal image quality and detail.

Integrated 5G Multi-Mode Modem

The Exynos 2100 has an integrated 5G multi-mode modem that supports :

  • 5G : Sub-6 GHz and millimetre wave spectrums
  • 4G LTE with 1024 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) support
  • 3G WCDMA
  • 2G GSM / CDMA

This modem can download data at up to 5.1 Gbps (sub-6GHz), and 7.35 Gbps (mmWave) with 5G networks; and up to 3 Gbps in 4G networks with 1024 QAM.

 

Samsung Exynos 2100 : Specifications

Specifications Samsung
Exynos 2100
Fab Process 5 nm EUV
Processor 1 x Arm Cortex-X1 core (2.9 GHz)
3 x Arm Cortex-A78 cores (2.8 GHz)
4 x Arm Cortex-A55 cores (2.2 GHz)
GPU Arm Mali-G78
AI Processor Triple-Core NPU (26 TOPS)
Memory Support LPDDR5 (51.2 GB/s)
Storage Support UFS 3.1 / UFS 2.1
Connectivity 5G (sub-6GHz / mmWave)
4G LTE (1024 QAM)
3G WCDMA
2G GSM / CDMA
Camera Support 200 MP (rear)
Video Encoding 4K @ 120 fps
Video Decoding 8K @ 60 fps

 

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Apple M1 : How Fast Are Its CPU + GPU?

The Apple M1 is the first ARM-based SoC (System on a Chip) designed by Apple to be used as the CPU for Mac computers.

Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about the Apple M1, including how fast its CPU and GPU really are!

 

Apple M1 : First ARM SoC For Mac Computers!

The Apple M1 is the first ARM-based SoC (System on a Chip) designed by Apple for use in Mac computers, debuting in :

  • 2020 MacBook Air (4th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 MacBook Pro (6th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 Mac mini (5th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG

Packing 16 billion transistors, it is the first chip to be manufactured on the new 5 nm TSMC process technology.

As an SoC, it combines 8 CPU cores, an 8-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine, an image signal processor (ISP), an NVMe storage controller, a Thunderbolt 4 controller and a Secure Enclave – all in a single chip.

The Apple M1 is paired with either 8 GB or 16 GB of LPDDR4X memory using a system-in-a-package design.

8-Core CPU : ARM big.LITTLE Design

The Apple M1 uses the ARM big.LITTLE design for the CPU. Its 8-core CPU is divided into two performance clusters :

  • P Cluster (Performance) : 4 x Firestorm cores (up to 3.2 GHz)
  • E Cluster (Efficient) : 4 x Icestorm cores (up to 2.06 GHz)

The P Cluster is designed for high-performance, with a power consumption of 13.8 watts. It has a large 12 MB shared L2 cache, with a 128 KB dedicated L1 cache for each Firestorm core.

The E Cluster, on the other hand, is designed for a low power consumption of just 1.3 watts. It has a smaller 4 MB shared L2 cache, with a 64 KB dedicated L1 cache for each Icestorm core.

8-Core GPU : Mysterious Indeed!

The M1 uses an Apple-designed 8-core GPU, of which very little is known. Apple only says that it can handle up to 25,000 concurrent threads.

But from what we can tell, it has 128 execution units with an FP32 performance of 2.6 teraflops per second, a 82 GT/s texture fill rate, and a 41 GP/s pixel fill rate.

16-Core Neural Engine

The Apple M1 features a 16-core Neural Engine, which is capable of executing 11 trillion operations per second.

LPDDR4X Unified Memory

The Apple M1 uses a unified memory design, which means the CPU and GPU share the same memory.

Apple offers 8 GB and 16 GB LPDDR4X SDRAM options, built directly onto the package for near-instantaneous access.

Rosetta 2 Translation

As most Mac apps are compiled for x86 processors, they need to be translated to work with the Apple M1, which uses the totally different ARM architecture.

That’s where Apple Rosetta 2 comes in – introduced in macOS Big Sur, it translates or emulates x86 apps so that they can run properly on the M1 processor.

Certain apps, especially games, may require third-party software like Wine or CrossOver to work properly, like this example of The Witcher 3 running on the Apple M1.

 

Apple M1 : Specifications

Apple is hardly the most transparent company in the world, but here is what we know so far about the M1 chip’s specifications :

Specifications Apple M1 (APL1102)
Fab Process 5 nm TSMC
Transistor Count 16 Billion
Die Size 120 mm²
CPU Cores P Cluster : 4 x Firestorm cores
E Cluster : 4 x Icestorm cores
L1 Caches Firestorm : 128 KB per core
Icestorm : 64 KB per core
L2 Caches P Cluster : 12 MB shared
E Cluster : 4 MB shared
Clock Speed P Cluster : 0.6~3.204 GHz
E Cluster : 0.6~2.064 GHz
CPU Power
Consumption
P Cluster : 13.8 W
E Cluster : 1.3 W
GPU Cores 8 Cores, 128 Execution Units
GPU FP32 Performance 2.6 TFLOPS
GPU Texture Fillrate 82 GT/s
GPU Pixel Fillrate 41 GP/s
Memory Size 8 GB / 16 GB
Memory Type LPDDR4x-4266
Memory Interface 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 68.27 GB/s
Neural Engine 16 Cores
Neural Engine
Performance
11 Trillion Ops / Second
TDP 10 watts (MacBook Air)

 

Apple M1 : How Fast Are Its CPU + GPU?

Unfortunately, we do not have access to the Apple M1, but Ars Technica tested it in the 2020 Mac mini. Take a look at some of the results they posted :

Note : While Ars Technica listed the M1 as a 10 watt part, this is only what Apple claims for the MacBook Air. It is likely to be clocked higher, with a higher TDP in the Mac mini and MacBook Pro.

Geekbench 5 : Single-Threaded CPU Test

Will you look at that? The Apple M1’s Firestorm cluster has really good single-core performance!

It was 7% faster than the Core i7-1185G7, in both 28W and 15W TDP modes; and 53% faster than the Ryzen 7 4700U!

Geekbench 5 : Multi-Threaded CPU Test

This is even more astounding! The Apple M1 is even faster in the multi-threaded test!

In the multi-threaded test, the Apple M1 was 22% faster and 54% faster than the Core i7-1185G7 in 28W and 15W modes, respectively. It was also 52% faster than the Ryzen 7 4700U!

Geekbench 5 : GPU Test

Even its 8-core GPU did very well, beating the Core i7-1185G7‘s integrated Iris Xe by 26%, and Ryzen 7 4700U‘s integrated Vega 7 by 65%.

Cinebench R23 : Single-Threaded Test

The Apple M1 was as fast as the 28-watt Core i7-1185G7 in the single-threaded test, and was 28% faster than the Ryzen 7 4700U. And it was only 6.5% slower than the Ryzen 9 5950X.

Cinebench R23 : Multi-Threaded Test

In the multi-threaded test, the Ars Technica team set a limit of 8 threads for a level-playing field.

The Apple M1 did well, beating the Ryzen 7 4700U by 14%, and the Core i7-1185G7 by 25%. And it was just 34% slower than the Ryzen 9 5950X.

 

Apple M1 Mac Computers : Where To Buy?

The Apple M1 is currently available in these Mac computer models :

  • 2020 MacBook Air (4th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 MacBook Pro (6th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 Mac mini (5th Gen) : US | UK | AU | MY | SG

 

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Kirin 9000 | Kirin 9000E : World’s First 5nm 5G Mobile SoCs!

The HUAWEI Kirin 9000 and Kirin 9000E lay claim to being the world’s first 5G mobile SoC built on the 5 nm process technology.

Find out what HUAWEI’s latest and possibly last 5G platforms offer, and how they differ!

 

Kirin 9000 | Kirin 9000E : World’s First 5nm 5G Mobile SoCs!

The Kirin 9000 and Kirin 9000E are HUAWEI’s most powerful mobile SoCs (System on a Chip) – the brains of their new Mate 40 Series smartphones.

Fabricated on the latest 5 nm EUV process technology, they pack a whopping 15.3 billion transistors. That’s 30% more transistors than the Apple A14, which HUAWEI makes a point to note.

CPU Performance

They both have eight Arm Cortex cores, with a triple-tier architecture :

  • a boosted Arm Cortex-A77 core running at 3.13 GHz
  • three high-speed Arm Cortex-A77 cores running at 2.54 GHz
  • four low-power Arm Cortex-A55 cores running at 2.05 GHz

HUAWEI claims that they will deliver 10% better performance with 25% better power efficiency than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+.

GPU Performance

The Kirin 9000 has a 24-core Mali-G78 GPU that is supposedly 52% faster than the Snapdragon 865+, with 50% better power efficiency.

The Kirin 9000E has a 22-core Mali-G78 GPU, which should be slightly less powerful.

NPU Performance

The Kirin 9000 has 2 Big-Core NPUs and 1 Tiny-Core NPU that deliver up to 2.4X better performance with 2.5X better power efficiency than the Snapdragon 865+.

The Kirin 9000E has just 1 Big-Core NPU and 1 Tiny-Core NPU.

Integrated 5G Modem

Both mobile SoCs come with an integrated Balong 5000 multi-mode 5G modem.

HUAWEI claims it offers up to 5X faster upload speeds and 2X faster download speeds than the separate Snapdragon X55 modem that is paired with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+.

ISP Performance

They both also feature ISP 6.0 – their 6th generation image signal processor.

Compared to the Kirin 990, it offers 50% higher bandwidth, 48% better noise reduction capability, and better HDR video processing capability.

 

Kirin 9000 | Kirin 9000E : Specifications Compared

We created this table for an easier comparison of both mobile SoCs :

Specifications Kirin 9000 Kirin 9000E
Fab Process 5 nm EUV
Transistors 15.3 Billion
CPU 1 x Arm Cortex-A77 (3.13 GHz)
3 x Arm Cortex-A77 (2.54 GHz)
4 x Arm Cortex-A55 (2.05 GHz)
NPU 2 x Big-Core
1 x Tiny-Core
1 x Big-Core
1 x Tiny-Core
GPU Mali-G78 MP24 Mali-G78 MP22
Memory
Support
LPDDR5 / LPDDR4X
ISP ISP 6.0
Modem Balong 5000

 

Kirin 9000 | Kirin 9000E : Availability

The Kirin 9000 will debut in the Mate 40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro+ smartphones.

The Kirin 9000E will debut in the Mate 40 smartphone.

 

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Samsung Exynos 990 Performance : How Fast Is It?

The new Samsung Galaxy S20 smartphones are powered by the Exynos 990 – the latest, greatest mobile platform developed by Samsung themselves.

But just how fast is the Samsung Exynos 990, compared to other mobile platforms? Let’s find out!

 

Samsung Exynos 990 : What You Need To Know

The Samsung Exynos 990 builds upon Samsung’s first mobile platform with an integrated 5G modem – the Exynos 980, but focuses on performance instead of 5G connectivity.

It boasts a range of significant improvements – new Samsung Mongoose 5 (Exynos M5) and ARM Cortex-A76 cores, and a new Arm Mali-G77 GPU.

Faster Processor + GPU

According to Samsung, its new custom Mongoose 5 (Exynos M5) cores are 20% faster than the Mongoose 4 (Exynos M4) cores used in the flagship-class Exynos 9825 used in the Galaxy Note 10 smartphones!

Its Arm Mali-G77 GPU uses the new Valhall architecture, and promises to offer a 20% boost in graphics performance or power efficiency.

Faster LPDDR5 Memory

The Exynos 990 will be the first Samsung mobile platform to use the new LPDDR5 memory, which offers a 31% higher clock speed – increased from 2093 MHz to 2750 MHz.

This allows it to deliver up to 5,500 Mbps or 687.5 MB/s in memory bandwidth. It should also allow for lower power consumption.

Faster NPU + DSP

Its AI capabilities also received a big boost with a new dual-core NPU and improved digital signal processor (DSP) that can process over 10 trillion operations (TOPS) per second!

Recommended : Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : 60Hz vs 120Hz Battery Life!

 

Samsung Exynos 990 Work Performance : PCMark

We tested the Exynos 990 using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Exynos 990 Snapdragon 855 Exynos 9825 Snapdragon 855+ Exynos 9820
Device Galaxy S20 Ultra Xiaomi Mi 9 Galaxy Note10+ Black Shark 2 Pro Galaxy S10+
Performance Score
(Average)
10678 9471 8981 8384 7846
Web Browsing 9287 7792 8293 6768 8583
Video Editing 6331 6038 9166 5948 5524
Writing 11660 10919 9579 9226 9076
Photo Editing 29560 20161 19376 17595 10710
Data Manipulation 6849 7356 6155 6339 6450

Well, this is quite a nice surprise! Samsung Exynos has historically been rather poor at work performance.

The last-generation Exynos 9825 and Exynos 9820, for example, were significantly slower than their Qualcomm counterparts – the Snapdragon 855 and Snapdragon 855+.

But the new Exynos 990 was 36% faster than the Exynos 9820 (its predecessor), and 13% faster than the Snapdragon 855.

 

Samsung Exynos 990 Gaming Performance : 3DMark

For gaming, we first tested the Exynos 990 using 3DMark, with these results :

3DMark Exynos 990 Snapdragon 855+ Snapdragon 855 Exynos 9825 Exynos 9820
Device Galaxy S20 Ultra Black Shark 2 Pro Xiaomi Mi 9 Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+
Sling Shot Extreme (OpenGL) 6723 6258 5487 5037 4470
Sling Shot Extreme (Vulkan) 5848 5386 4808 4794 4314
Sling Shot 8075 8127 7241 4883 4343

Not bad at all! Samsung caught up with Qualcomm in gaming performance as well.

The new Exynos 990 was 7.5% faster than the Snapdragon 855+, that powered high-end gaming smartphones like the Black Shark 2 Pro, in Sling Shot Extreme, matching it in the easier Sling Shot benchmark.

Notably, the Exynos 990 was 50% faster than its predecessor, the Exynos 9820 that powered the Galaxy S10+.

 

Samsung Exynos 990 Gaming Performance : AnTuTu

We then tested the Exynos 990 using AnTuTu, yielding these results :

AnTuTu Exynos 990 Snapdragon 855+ Snapdragon 855 Exynos 9825 Exynos 9820
Device Galaxy S20 Ultra Black Shark 2 Pro Xiaomi Mi 9 Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+
AnTuTu Score 518159 434168 371473 348397 330549
CPU 151510 126170 126011 101187 100272
GPU 218164 188158 156318 156700 149930
Memory 78457 65052 77763 72051 68188
UX 70028 54788 11381 18459 12159

Will you look at that? The Samsung Exynos 990 was 19% faster than the Snapdragon 855+, and 57% faster than its predecessor, the Exynos 9820!

 

Samsung Exynos 990 Performance : How Fast Is It?

In summary, the new Samsung Exynos 990 represents a whole new level of performance.

Compared to its predecessor, the Exynos 9820, it was generally 36% faster in work performance, and 50%-60% faster in games.

Compared to the Snapdragon 855+, it was 13% faster in work performance, and 7%~19% faster in games.

In just one year, Samsung has made significant strides in improving the performance of their Exynos mobile platforms.

Too bad we do not have access to the Snapdragon 865… but at least we know that the Exynos 990 can deliver excellent work and gaming performance!

 

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Samsung Exynos 990 : Everything You Need To Know!

Samsung just unveiled details of the Exynos 990 mobile platform, which boasts the new Arm Mali-G77 GPU and a new dual-core NPU!

Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about the new Samsung Exynos 990 mobile platform!

 

The Samsung Exynos 990 Mobile Platform

The Samsung Exynos 990 builds upon Samsung’s first mobile platform with an integrated 5G modem – the Exynos 980, but focusing on performance instead of 5G connectivity.

It boasts a range of significant improvements – new Samsung Mongoose 5 (Exynos M5) and ARM Cortex-A76 cores, and a new Arm Mali-G77 GPU.

Faster Processor + GPU

According to Samsung, its new custom Mongoose 5 (Exynos M5) cores are 20% faster than the Mongoose 4 (Exynos M4) cores used in the flagship-class Exynos 9825 used in the Galaxy Note 10 smartphones!

Its Arm Mali-G77 GPU uses the new Valhall architecture, and promises to offer a 20% boost in graphics performance or power efficiency.

Faster LPDDR5 Memory

The Exynos 990 will be the first Samsung mobile platform to use the new LPDDR5 memory, which offers a 31% higher clock speed – increased from 2093 MHz to 2750 MHz.

This allows it to deliver up to 5,500 Mbps or 687.5 MB/s in memory bandwidth. It should also allow for lower power consumption.

Faster NPU + DSP

Its AI capabilities also received a big boost with a new dual-core NPU and improved digital signal processor (DSP) that can process over 10 trillion operations (TOPS) per second!

No Built-In Modem

Interestingly, the Samsung Exynos 990 does not appear to have a built-in modem, not even for 3G and 4G connectivity.

Instead, it appears to be designed to be paired with the new Samsung Exynos Modem 5123 multi-mode 5G modem with transfer rates of up to 7.35 Gbps in mmWave, and 5.1 Gbps in sub-6GHz.

Recommended : Samsung Exynos Modem 5123 – What You Need To Know!

120 Hz Display Capability

In addition to 10-bit video and HDR display support, the Exynos 990 comes with a 120 Hz refresh rate driver.

Better Photographic Capabilities

Its advanced image signal processor (ISP) not only supports up to six image sensors, it can process images from three of them concurrently! It supports sensor resolutions of up to 108 MP.

Its Multi-Format Codec supports encoding and decoding of 8K videos at up to 30 fps, or 4K UHD videos at up to 120 frames per second. It also supports HDR10+ with dynamic mapping in videos.

 

Samsung Exynos 990 vs. Exynos 980

Features Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 980
Process 7 nm EUV 8 nm FinFET
Design Tri-Cluster (2+2+4) Bi-Cluster (2+6)
Processor 2 x Mongoose 5 cores (2.73 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A76 cores (2.5 GHz)
4 x Cortex-A55 cores (1.9 GHz)
2 x ARM Cortex-A77 cores (2.2 GHz)
6 x ARM Cortex-A55 cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Arm Mali-G77 MP11 Arm Mali-G76 MP5
NPU Yes, Dual-Core Yes, Integrated
Memory LPDDR5 LPDDR4x
5G Modem Separate Exynos Modem 5123
– 5.1 Gbps DL
Integrated 5G NR Sub-6 GHz
– 2.55 Gbps DL / 1.28 Gbps UL
LTE Modem Separate Exynos Modem 5123
– DL : Cat.20 8CA (1.6 Gbps)
DL : Cat.16 5CA (1 Gbps)
UL : Cat.18 2CA (200 Mbps)
Bluetooth 5.0 5.0
Storage UFS 3.0 / UFS 2.1 UFS 2.1 / eMMC 5.1

 

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Samsung Exynos 980 – Samsung’s First 5G Mobile Platform!

On 4 September 2019, Samsung unveiled their first 5G mobile platform – the Exynos 980!

Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about the Samsung Exynos 980 5G mobile platform!

 

The Samsung Exynos 980 5G Mobile Platform

The Samsung Exynos 980 is the first Samsung mobile platform to come with an integrated 5G modem, introduced as part of their drive to introduce the next-generation 5G smartphones.

The integration of the 5G modem will not only drive down the cost of implementing 5G, it will help reduce power consumption and space utilisation.

The Exynos 980 is, furthermore, fabricated on the 8 nm FinFET process to reduce chip size and increase power efficiency.

Samsung Exynos 980 CPU + GPU

The Samsung Exynos 980 is designed to be an upper mid-range mobile platform, with a bi-cluster CPU architecture :

  • two ARM Cortex-A77 high-performance cores running at 2.2 GHz
  • six ARM Cortex-A55 power-efficient cores running at 1.8 GHz

It also comes with a relatively powerful 5-core version of the ARM Mali-G76 GPU.

Samsung Exynos 980 Multi-Mode 5G Modem

The Samsung Exynos 980’s integrated multi-mode modem supports 2G to 5G connectivity.

It offers gigabit download speeds in the 4G LTE mode, and up to 2.55 Gbps download speeds in the sub-6 GHz 5G mode.

The modem also supports E-UTRA-NR Dual Connectivity (EN-DC), which combines 2CC LTE and 5G connectivity to maximise mobile downlink speed of up to 3.55 Gbps.

In addition, it supports the new Wi-Fi 6 standard – IEEE 802.11ax, that provides faster speed and greater stability.

Faster Neural Processing Unit (NPU)

The Samsung Exynos 980 comes with an integrated NPU that is 2.7X faster than its predecessor, allowing for expanded AI capabilities.

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Better Photographic Capabilities

The Samsung Exynos 980 supports sensors of up to 108 MP in resolution.

Its advanced image signal processor (ISP) not only supports up to five sensors, it can process images from three sensors concurrently!

Its Multi-Format Codec supports encoding and decoding of 4K UHD videos at up to 120 frames per second. It also supports HDR10+ with dynamic mapping in videos.

 

Samsung Exynos 980 Specifications

In this table, we compare the specifications of the Samsung Exynos 980, to the flagship-class Exynos 9825 used in the new Samsung Galaxy Note10 smartphones.

Features Samsung Exynos 9825 Samsung Exynos 980
Process 7 nm EUV 8 nm FinFET
Design Tri-Cluster (2+2+4) Bi-Cluster (2+6)
Processor 2 x Mongoose 4 cores (2.7 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A75 cores (2.4 GHz)
4 x Cortex-A55 cores (1.9 GHz)
2 x ARM Cortex-A77 cores (2.2 GHz)
6 x ARM Cortex-A55 cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU ARM Mali-G76 MP12 ARM Mali-G76 MP5
NPU Yes, Integrated Yes, Integrated
Memory LPDDR4x-3600 LPDDR4x
5G Modem Separate Exynos 5100 Integrated 5G NR Sub-6 GHz
– 2.55 Gbps DL / 1.28 Gbps UL
LTE Modem DL : Cat.20 8CA (2 Gbps)
UL : Cat.20 3CA (316 Mbps)
DL : Cat.16 5CA (1 Gbps)
UL : Cat.18 2CA (200 Mbps)
Bluetooth 5.0 5.0
Storage UFS 3.0 / UFS 2.1 UFS 2.1 / eMMC 5.1

 

Samsung Exynos 980 Availability

The Samsung Exynos 980 will only begin mass production by the end of 2019, and the first smartphones using it should appear in the first quarter of 2020.

 

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HONOR Honghu 818 Display SoC Details Revealed!

At the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in Guangzhou, HONOR President George Zhao unveiled the Honghu 818 display SoC.

Here is everything you need to know about the HONOR Honghu 818 display SoC, which promises to deliver superior images and sound quality for smart displays!

 

The HONOR Honghu 818 Display SoC

The HONOR Honghu 818 was developed by the Hisilicon research and development team over a period of 5-years. It is their first intelligent display SoC to be made available globally.

Quad-Core CPU + Quad-Core GPU

While many media reported that the Honghu 818 has an octa-core processor, they would be wrong.

The Honghu 818 has a quad-core processor, and a quad-core GPU; but in this case 4+4 really does not equal 8…

To be specific, its CPU has two ARM Cortex-A73 high-performance cores, and two ARM Cortex-A53 low-power cores. Its ARM Mali-G51 GPU, on the other hand, has four cores.

This means it is far less powerful than Hisilicon’s flagship Kirin 980 or Kirin 970 mobile SoCs or even mid-range mobile SoCs like the Kirin 650.

However, HONOR says that it is more than capable of handling heavy image processing on large displays, as well as other tasks, at the same time.

In fact, they claim that this octa-core processor’s “bandwidth utilisation rate” leads the industry by “over 50% on average”.

Recommended : The Official HUAWEI Kirin 980 Tech Briefing + Demos!

Honghu 818 Image Processing Technologies

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Its image processing engine boasts these seven image processing technologies :

  • Motion Estimate and Motion Compensation (MEMC)
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) Imaging
  • Super Resolution (SR)
  • Noise Reduction (NR)
  • Dynamic Contrast Improvement (DCI)
  • Auto Colour Management (ACM)
  • Local Dimming (LD)

Those algorithms lets the Honghu 818 enhance and optimise image resolution, contrast and colour performance of the display.

Histen Audio Technology

The HUAWEI Histen audio technology optimises sound quality in four aspects :

  • ultra-wide sound field
  • transient intermodulation distortion
  • sound equalization, and
  • intelligent bass.

This allows the smart display to deliver a great audio experience without using a separate audio chip.

Honghu 818 Multimedia Decoding Capabilities

The Honghu 818 has a built-in multimedia decoder that supports hardware decoding of up to 8K video at 30 fps, or 4K video at 120 fps.

According to HONOR, the Honghu 818 can open a H.265-encoded 4K video in just 1.3 seconds, while its rivals take almost twice as long.

It can also decode images of up to 64 megapixels in resolution, which is greater than the highest-resolution DSLR cameras (Canon 5DS and Canon 5DS R), and certainly much greater than any smartphone camera.

 

The First Honghu 818 Powered Display

HONOR said that they will be launching the HONOR Vision TV, which will be the first display powered by the Honghu 818. This 55-inch smart TV will also come with a smart pop-up camera.

 

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The HUAWEI ARM Business Suspension – How Bad Is This?

BBC just revealed that HUAWEI ARM business partnership has also been suspended. Find out what this new development means for HUAWEI, and consumers!

 

HUAWEI ARM Business Suspended

ARM instructed their employees to suspend business with HUAWEI on 16 May 2019, according to internal documents obtained by the BBC.

Specifically, they were told to halt “all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements” with HUAWEI and its subsidiaries because they were added to the US Entity List.

 

How Is ARM Affected By The US Entity List?

ARM is a UK-based company, owned by Japanese conglomerate Softbank, and is thus not directly subject to the HUAWEI Trump ban.

However, they said that their designs contained “US origin technology“, which would subject them to the US government restrictions.

 

What About The Temporary Licence?

The temporary 90-day licence does not apply to ARM, because it only permits software patches and bug fixes for consumer devices, and network equipment.

Recommended : The HUAWEI Trump Ban – Everything You Need To Know!

 

What Does ARM Do For HUAWEI?

ARM designs the processor and graphics cores that power almost all mobile SoCs used in smartphones today.

Whether your smartphone uses the Apple A11, a Qualcomm Snapdragon, or a Samsung Exynos mobile SoC – most are built around the ARM Cortex processor and/or ARM Mali graphics cores.

HUAWEI relies on ARM designs and licences for their Hisilicon Kirin mobile SoCs, like the Kirin 980 that powers their new HUAWEI P30 Pro smartphone.

 

The HUAWEI ARM Business Suspension – How Bad Is This?

Consumers : No Effect

Let’s get this straight, because there are people wondering if their HUAWEI smartphones will stop working. There are even people trying to sell off their HUAWEI smartphones in panic.

Seriously – this has NO EFFECT on all current HUAWEI and HONOR smartphones. Even future HUAWEI and HONOR models that will come out this year are unlikely to be affected in any way.

Short- to Medium-Term : No Real Damage To HUAWEI

In the short- to medium-term, the damage is more perception than substance.

  • HUAWEI can continue to manufacture and use their existing ARM-based designs, including the recently announced Kunpeng 920 server processors and Tiangang 5G processor.
  • HUAWEI can manufacture completed ARM-based designs that have not been launched, including their upcoming Kirin 985 flagship processor.
  • HUAWEI will be able to produce new smartphones, servers and other devices that use those ARM-based processors.

Long-Term : Potentially Disastrous For HUAWEI

The HUAWEI ARM licences and technical support are critical for the development of future mobile and server processors.

It would take them a long time, and a lot of effort, to switch to an alternative RISC architecture, like the open-source RISC-V.

Their best bet would be to temporarily suspend or slow down the development of their next-generation ARM-based designs, while the US and Chinese government “duke it out”…

 

How Will This Work Out?

President Donald Trump has framed HUAWEI as a national security threat, but the HUAWEI Trump ban is really about the trade war with China.

Placing HUAWEI in the Entity List prevents HUAWEI from buying American products and technology, not sell their products and technology to American companies.

In fact, HUAWEI does not even sell their smartphones or laptops in the United States, which begs the question – why on earth were they even targeted?

Photo Credit : News.com.au

In all likelihood, Trump is hoping that tightening the noose around HUAWEI will force Chinese President Xi Jinping into a trade deal.

We believe this ban will eventually resolve in a US-Chinese trade deal of some sort… The alternative – open conflict – would, frankly, be quite unthinkable.

 

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The Official HUAWEI Kirin 980 Tech Briefing + Demos!

We were recently invited to an exclusive HUAWEI Kirin 980 tech briefing session.

Here is everything you need to know about the HUAWEI Kirin 980, with videos of the demos and its development board.

Now you can pretty much guess how the upcoming HUAWEI Mate 20 will perform before its official launch on 16 October 2018!

 

The HUAWEI Kirin 980

Although Apple was the first to launch smartphones with a 7nm mobile SoC, the HUAWEI Kirin 980 is technically the first 7nm mobile SoC in the world.

Take a look at the development board, and how small the Kirin 980 really is.

The HUAWEI Kirin 980 is also the first to feature the ARM Cortex-A76 processor core, and Mali-G76 GPU, as well as the first to come with two NPUs, a Cat.21 modem and support for faster LPDDR4X-2133 memory.

It took HUAWEI and TSMC 36 months of joint research and co-engineering to develop this mobile SoC.

The process, which started in 2015, involved over 1000 semiconductor design and process experts.

Thanks to their efforts, the 7 nm process technology delivered a 20% speed improvement, with a 40% boost in power efficiency, and a 60% greater transistor density. This allowed HUAWEI to cram 6.9 billion transistors into the Kirin 980.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what’s new in the HUAWEI Kirin 980!

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The Kirin 980 CPU Architecture

The HUAWEI Kirin 980 pairs four new ARM Cortex-A76 high-performance cores, with four ARM Cortex-A55 cores.

However, instead of the traditional big.LITTLE 4+4 clusters, HUAWEI uses a 2+2+4 cluster architecture.

The four ARM Cortex-A55 cores, running at 1.8 GHz, are used for low loads and background tasks, while two ARM Cortex-A76 cores, running at 1.92 GHz, will be used for most loads, together with some of the A55 cores.

But when you really need a big boost in performance, the last two Cortex-A76 cores kick in.

With a higher clock speed of 2.6 GHz, they offer a big boost in performance. But to conserve battery life, they are meant to be used in short bursts.

Here is a table that illustrates the kinds of loads that will trigger each cluster :

 

New Mali-G76 GPU

The HUAWEI Kirin 980 is the world’s first mobile SoC to deploy the ARM Mali-G76 GPU.

HUAWEI did not reveal how many cores it has, but they say that it offers 46% better performance than the Mali-G72 GPU used in the Kirin 970, with 178% better power efficiency.

Go Back To > Dual NPUs + ISPs, Faster Connectivity, Dual Frequency GPS

 

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Kirin 980 Has Dual NPUs

The HUAWEI Kirin 980 retains the same NPU that was first introduced in the Kirin 970.

However, HUAWEI double its AI performance by using two of them, instead of just one.

The boost in AI performance allows HUAWEI to introduce new AI-related technologies like :

  • the HUAWEI AI Loading Prediction technology, and
  • the Real-Time Multi-Person Gesture Recognition technology.

We will take a closer look at these two technologies below.

 

HUAWEI AI Loading Prediction Technology

The HUAWEI Kirin 980 manages its CPU and GPU performance using an AI Loading Prediction Technology.

It basically predicts when a game will require more power, or less; and pre-emptively boosts or reduces the CPU and GPU clock speeds accordingly. It also determines when the CPU’s turbo cluster (of two Cortex-A76 cores running at 2.6 GHz) should be activated for a boost in performance.

The combination of much faster CPU and GPU cores, with AI Loading Prediction Technology, allows the Kirin 980 to hit and sustain 60 fps even with strenuous games.

Note that while it can go beyond 60 fps in this demo of NBA 2K18, the AI Loading Prediction Technology caps its frame rate to reduce power consumption and extend battery life.

 

Real-Time Multi-Person Gesture Recognition

Thanks to its greater AI processing capabilities, the HUAWEI Kirin 980 can perform real-time multi-person gesture recognition.

It can also determine their distance using a single camera, allowing it to know when someone has gone in front of, or behind, someone else.

Most impressively, it accomplished this using a single camera. Imagine how much more accurate it can be using two cameras which would offer much better depth perception.

 

Kirin 980 Has Dual ISPs

It has two image signal processors which offer a 46% boost in performance, a 33% reduction in recording latency, and 23% better power efficiency.

The boost in performance greatly expands its ability to “massage” the raw images to produce better photos.

Although HUAWEI did not detail how they did it, their sample photos above appear to be using HDR to bring out details in the shadows while correcting for overblown highlights.

For sharp images, it will needs to be paired with a fast image sensor that can take multiple photos with different exposures in quick succession.

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Kirin 980 Has Faster LTE + WiFi Speeds

The HUAWEI Kirin 980 boasts a new LTE Cat.21 modem, which allows it to deliver download speeds of up to 1.4 Gbps! Upload speed remains at 200 Mbps.

When paired with the HUAWEI Hi1103 chip, it can offer WiFi transfer rates of up to 1.7 Gbps.

 

Kirin 980 Introduces Dual-Frequency GPS

This is arguably its most underrated feature – support for dual-frequency GPS.

By using both L1 and L5 frequencies, it can deliver 10X better positioning accuracy. You won’t ever have to worry taking the wrong turn!

Go Back To > HUAWEI Kirin 980 Performance Comparisons + Summaries

 

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How Fast Is The HUAWEI Kirin 980?

These HUAWEI performance comparisons show the performance differences between the Kirin 980 and its predecessor, the Kirin 970 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.

CPU : 75% Better Performance, 58% Better Power Efficiency Than Kirin 970

CPU : 37% Better Performance, 32% Better Power Efficiency Than Snapdragon 845

Memory : 20% More Bandwidth, 22% Lower Latency Than Snapdragon 845

GPU : 46% Better Performance, 178% Better Power Efficiency Than Kirin 970

Image Recognition : 89% Faster Than Snapdragon 845, 3X Faster Than Apple A11

App Launch Time : 6% to 23% Faster Than Snapdragon 845

Game Performance : 22% Better Performance, 32% Lower Power Consumption Than Snapdragon 845

AI Performance : 2X Better Performance, 87% Better Power Efficiency Than Snapdragon 845

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Kirin 980 vs Kirin 970 Summarised

Here is a HUAWEI comparison of the Kirin 980 against the Kirin 970.

 

Kirin 980 vs Snapdragon 845 Summarised

And this is a HUAWEI table summarising the differences between the Kirin 980 and the Snapdragon 845.

Go Back To > HUAWEI Kirin 980 Keynote Slides, Recommended Reading

 

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The Complete HUAWEI Kirin 980 Keynote Slides

Here is the complete set of the official HUAWEI keynote slides for your perusal :

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Suggested Reading

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The Kirin 950 & Kirin 650 Technology Report

In our Kirin 950 and Kirin 650 technology report, you will be able to watch the full technical briefing and check out the performance of the Kirin 955 compared to the Exynos 8890. We will also share with you the presentation slides for your perusal. Enjoy!

 

Kirin 950 & Kirin 650 Technical Briefing

We were invited to an exclusive briefing on the unique features of the Kirin 950 and Kirin 650 family of processors (more accurately, System on a Chip or SOCs). The briefing was conducted by Mr. Zhou Chen, the Director of the Kirin Chipset Solution Planning, HiSilicon Wireless Terminal BU of Huawei.

Mr. Zhou Chen and his colleague also demonstrated the performance advantage of the Kirin 955-powered Huawei P9 Plus smartphone against the Exynos 8890-powered Samsung Galaxy S7 edge smartphone. Check it out :

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Key Features Of The Kirin 950 Family Of SoCs

  • Manufactured on the TSMC 16 nm FinFET+ process technology
  • Processor : 4 x ARM Cortex-A72 cores (2.3 GHz to 2.5 GHz) + 4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.8 GHz)
  • Graphics Processor : ARM Mali-T880 GPU (900 MHz)
  • Motion Co-Processor : i5 sensing co-processor
  • Memory Support : LPDDR3 or LPDDR4 SDRAM
  • Dual 14-bit ISPs (960 MP/s) with standalone DSP
  • HiFi audio DSP
  • 4K video decoder (supports H.265)
  • 5 Mode LTE Cat6 modem, with RF band of 450 MHz ~ 3.5 GHz

 

Key Features Of The Kirin 650 Family Of SoCs

  • Manufactured on the TSMC 16 nm FinFET+ process technology
  • Processor : 4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.0 GHz) + 4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.7 GHz)
  • Graphics Processor : ARM Mali-T830 MP2 GPU (900 MHz)
  • Motion Co-Processor : i5 sensing co-processor
  • Memory Support : LPDDR3 SDRAM
  • LTE Cat7 modem, with support for VoLTE and pseudo base station protection
  • Features SPLC intelligent voice enhancement technology

Next Page > Kirin 950 & Kirin 650 Briefing Slides

 

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Kirin 950 & Kirin 650 Briefing Slides

Huawei has kindly provided us with the slides for their Kirin 950 and Kirin 650 technical briefing, which we sharing with you here. They should allow you to have a clearer picture of the video presentation above.

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5 Awesome Technologies Designed by Malaysians

It’s a little known fact that a team of engineers from the Malaysia Design Center (MDC) of Intel Malaysia lived out the Malaysia Boleh spirit, bringing to life ideas that have shaped the world that we live in!

As MDC celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year, Intel Malaysia would love to share with us more details of the great work that they do in shaping the future every single day. Here are the 5 awesome technologies designed by Malaysians working at the MDC.

 

5 Awesome Technologies Designed By Malaysians

 

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