Samsung just announced the latest member of its Exynos family of system-on-chips. The Exynos 9810 marries an eight-core CPU with powerful image-processing hardware, deep learning acceleration, and a refined LTE modem.
Four of the CPU cores in the Exynos 9810 are based on a custom core design by Samsung. This marks the third generation of custom CPU cores from the company, and this one appears to be quite potent. Samsung says that the new core is twice as fast on a single thread as its last effort. Multi-core gains are apparently more modest at a claimed 40%, but that's still nothing to sneeze at. Those four high-power cores run at up to 2.9 GHz and are accompanied by four other CPU cores that Samsung only says are "optimized for efficiency."
Along with the eight-core CPU and unspecified graphics hardware, the Exynos 9810 includes hardware acceleration for typical deep learning-enabled tasks like image processing, facial recognition, and depth sensing. Given Samsung's emphasis on the topic in its press release, we'd guess that the company's next flagship device might have similar facial recognition functions to those found on Apple's iPhone X. Samsung doesn't say whether the hardware acceleration for these functions will be available for other software to use, though.
Other upgraded bits of the new chip include its LTE modem and its image processor. Like Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845, the modem in the Exynos 9810 supports Category 18 LTE with six-channel aggregation. That means maximum transfer rates of 1.2 Gbps downstream and 200 Mbps upstream. Meanwhile, Samsung says the Exynos 9810's "multi-format codec" video processor can handle both playback and recording of 120-FPS video at a resolution of 3840x2160. It's also capable of handling both HEVC and VP9 codecs with 10-bit precision.
Samsung says the Exynos 9810 is currently in mass production. That news fits right in with Samsung's usual flagship phone release cadence. Expect to see this chip show up in the company's next range-topper in late spring.