Samsung Electronics showcased advanced memory and system logic devices at its Tech Day 2019 event.
The company unveiled the Exynos 990 premium mobile processor, the 5G-enabled Exynos Modem 5123 and announced mass production of its third generation 10nm-class 1z-nm DRAM.
Exynos 990 and 5G Exynos Modem 5123
These two silicon products are tailored for future mobile devices that will make intensive use of video and artificial intelligence (AI) applications as well as 5G communications.
Both the Exynos 990 premium mobile processor and 5G Exynos Modem 5123 harness the most advanced 7-nanometer (nm) process technology using extreme ultra-violet (EUV).
The Exynos 990 includes an embedded Arm Mali-G77 GPU, the first premium GPU based on ARM's new Valhall architecture, which improves graphic performance or power efficiency by up to 20 percent. This comes in addition to an overall 20-percent performance boost from a tri-cluster CPU structure that consists of two powerful custom cores, two high-performance Cortex-A76 cores and four power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores.
The Exynos 990 also makes on-device AI practical and useful, with a dual-core neural processing unit (NPU) and improved digital signal processor (DSP) that can perform over ten-trillion operations (TOPs) per second.
The NPU enables localized AI in a smartphone or other mobile platform, allowing data to be processed on-device, rather than going through a network and a server, for added efficiency and security. This can also help enhance AI features such as facial recognition and scene detection.
The 5G Exynos Modem 5123 is one of the first 5G modem chips manufactured using a 7nm EUV process. It supports virtually all networks, from 5G’s sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrums to 2G GSM/CDMA, 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HSPA and 4G LTE, with outstanding downlink speed across the board. In 5G, with up to 8-carrier aggregation (8CA), the modem delivers a maximum downlink speed of up to 5.1-gigabits per second (Gbps) in sub-6-gigahertz (GHz) and 7.35Gbps in mmWave, or up to 3.0Gbps in 4G networks by supporting higher-order 1024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM).
The Exynos 990 complements these modem speeds with a very wide memory bandwidth that supports LPDDR5 data rates of up to 5,500 megabits per second (Mb/s). The processor also features a 120Hz refresh-rate display driver, which makes games come alive by reducing screen tearing and enabling smoother animations even on devices with multiple displays, such as foldable phones. Also on board is an advanced image signal processor (ISP) that supports up to six individual image sensors with concurrent processing of three; this enables pro-grade photography, with resolution up to 108-megapixels.
The Exynos 990 and Exynos Modem 5123 are expected to begin mass production by the end of this year.
Third-generation 10nm-class (1z-nm) DRAM
Samsung claims that its new 10nm-class DRAM promises delivers the industry’s highest performance, energy efficiency and capacity, since mass production in September. Optimized for server platform development, the 1z-nm DRAM will open the door to a lineup of memory solutions such as DDR5, LPDDR5, HBM2E and GDDR6 products as early as the beginning of next year.
12GB LPDDR4X uMCP (UFS-based Multichip Package)
Samsung also announced that it has begun mass producing the industry’s first 12-gigabyte (GB) low-power double data rate 4X (LPDDR4X) UFS-based multichip package (uMCP).
“Leveraging our leading-edge 24-gigabit (Gb) LPDDR4X chips, we can offer the highest mobile DRAM capacity of 12GB not only for high-end smartphones but also for mid-range devices,” said Sewon Chun, executive vice president of Memory Marketing at Samsung Electronics.
Samsung is introducing its 12GB uMCP solution seven months after its launch of a 12GB LPDDRX package based on 16Gb DRAM. By combining four of the 24Gb LPDDR4X chips (featuring the latest 1y-nanometer process technology) and eUFS 3.0 NAND storage into a single package, the new mobile memory is able to break through the current 8GB package limit and provide 10+ GB memory to the broader smartphone market.
With 1.5X capacity of the previous 8GB package and a data transfer rate of 4,266 megabits per second (Mbps), the 12GB uMCP can support smooth 4K video recording as well as accommodate AI and machine learning features even for mid-end smartphones.
Samsung plans to expand the availability of 10+ GB LPDDR DRAM to address the needs of global smartphone makers for higher-capacity memory solutions.
Samsung also proposed new business possibilities for next-generation memory technologies, including the company’s 7th-generation V-NAND with nearly 200 (1yy) cell layers for mobile and other premium memory solutions, and next-generation PCIe Gen5 SSDs for future server and storage applications.