Samsung Exynos 2100 announced: The chip to power some Galaxy S21 models

Samsung Exynos 2100 official image

Credit: Supplied by Samsung
  • Samsung has announced the Exynos 2100 flagship processor.
  • It’s expected to power Galaxy S21 series phones in some markets.

Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 888 in December, and it’s expected to power Galaxy S21 devices in the US and China. But what about Galaxy flagships in the rest of the world? Samsung Semiconductor has just announced the 5nm Exynos 2100 flagship processor. This is the very processor that we expect to power the company’s upcoming Galaxy S21 series.

The new chipset is a landmark release for the firm, as it marks the first flagship SoC without custom CPU cores since 2015’s Exynos 7420. Instead of Samsung’s Mongoose cores, the new SoC exclusively uses Arm’s Cortex cores.

  Samsung Exynos 2100 Samsung Exynos 990
CPU Config 1x Cortex-X1 @ 2.9GHz
3x Cortex-A78 @ 2.8GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 2.2GHz
2x Mongoose M5 @ 2.73GHz
2x Cortex-A76 @ 2.5GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 2GHz
GPU Arm Mali-G78 MP14 Arm Mali-G77 MP11
AI / DSP Tri-core NPU Dual-core NPU
Camera 108MP single
200MP single
Modem 4G LTE
5G sub-6GHz & mmWave
7.35Gbps download
5G sub-6GHz & mmWave
7.35Gbps download
Process 5nm 5nm

The chipset sports one Arm Cortex-X1 core clocked at 2.9GHz, three Cortex-A78 CPU cores at 2.8GHz, and four Cortex-A55 cores running at 2.2GHz. This is the same CPU core setup seen on the Snapdragon 888. Samsung says the new CPU setup enables a 30% boost to multi-core performance over the Exynos 990. The Korean brand also points to the 5nm process as being crucial, saying it enables 20% lower power consumption or 10% better overall performance.

When it comes to graphical performance, the Exynos 2100 adopts the new Mali-G78 MP14 GPU. Samsung is claiming up to 40% better graphical performance as a result. This GPU is also found inside the recently announced mid-range Exynos 1080 chipset, albeit with fewer cores (Mali-G78 MP11).

Speaking of the Exynos 1080, the Exynos 2100 borrows the upper mid-range chip’s Amigo tech. This tech suite essentially governs and optimizes power usage across the CPU, GPU, and other elements of the chipset.

Samsung Exynos 2100: What else should you know?

Samsung Exynos 2100 image

Credit: Supplied by Samsung

A modern smartphone processor doesn’t just consist of the CPU and GPU, as cellular connectivity is one of the most important elements. The Exynos 2100 sports an integrated 5G modem with sub-6GHz and mmWave capabilities. Sub-6GHz downlink speeds theoretically top out at 5.1Gbps, while mmWave speeds top out at 7.35Gbps.

Machine learning continues to be another important battleground for smartphone processors, and the new Samsung chipset delivers a tri-core NPU that boasts 26 TOPS of power. By contrast, the Exynos 990 features 15 TOPS of power. Of course, there’s more to machine learning than a simple measurement, and the new NPU touts twice the power efficiency of the older silicon.

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The Exynos 2100 is also looking like a camera powerhouse, offering 200MP camera support, 8K/30fps recording, 8K/60fps playback, and 4K/120fps recording. Samsung’s chip also supports up to six cameras and is able to concurrently process data from four sensors. In fact, the Exynos 2100 features a so-called multi-camera and frame processor (MCFP) within the ISP, which is able to combine data from multiple sensors to deliver improved zoom, better wide-angle shots, and more.

The new chipset is in mass production right now, which isn’t a surprise given that we’re expecting it to appear inside the Galaxy S21 series. It’s probably too early to say whether the Exynos 2100 will give the Snapdragon 888 a run for its money, but what do you think of the SoC? Let us know by voting in the poll above.

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