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The Snapdragon 888 vs The Exynos 2100: Cortex-X1 & 5nm

The brand new Galaxy S21 collection of gadgets have been out commercially for every week now, and we’ve managed to get our fingers on two Galaxy S21 Ultras – one with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 888 SoC, and one with Samsung’s new Exynos 2100 SoC. Each chipsets this 12 months are extra comparable than ever, each now sporting comparable CPU configurations, and each being produced on a brand new Samsung 5nm (5LPE) course of node.

Forward of our full system assessment of the Galaxy S21 Extremely (and the smaller Galaxy S21), in the present day we’re specializing in the primary take a look at outcomes of the brand new era of SoCs, placing them by means of their paces, and pitting them towards one another within the new 2021 aggressive panorama.

The Snapdragon 888

Qualcomm Snapdragon Flagship SoCs 2020-2021
SoC Snapdragon 865

Snapdragon 888

CPU 1x Cortex-A77
@ 2.84GHz 1x512KB pL2

3x Cortex-A77
@ 2.42GHz 3x256KB pL2

4x Cortex-A55
@ 1.80GHz 4x128KB pL2

4MB sL3

1x Cortex-X1
@ 2.84GHz 1x1024KB pL2

3x Cortex-A78
@ 2.42GHz 3x512KB pL2

4x Cortex-A55
@ 1.80GHz 4x128KB pL2

4MB sL3

GPU Adreno 650 @ 587 MHz Adreno 660 @ 840MHz
DSP / NPU Hexagon 698

15 TOPS AI
(Whole CPU+GPU+HVX+Tensor)

Hexagon 780

26 TOPS AI
(Whole CPU+GPU+HVX+Tensor)

Reminiscence
Controller
4x 16-bit CH

@ 2133MHz LPDDR4X / 33.4GB/s
or
@ 2750MHz LPDDR5  /  44.0GB/s

3MB system stage cache

4x 16-bit CH

@ 3200MHz LPDDR5  /  51.2GB/s

3MB system stage cache

ISP/Digital camera Twin 14-bit Spectra 480 ISP

1x 200MP or 64MP with ZSL
or
2x 25MP with ZSL

4K video & 64MP burst seize

Triple 14-bit Spectra 580 ISP

1x 200MP or 84MP with ZSL
or
64+25MP with ZSL
or
3x 28MP with ZSL

4K video & 64MP burst seize

Encode/
Decode
8K30 / 4K120 10-bit H.265

Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG

720p960 infinite recording

8K30 / 4K120 10-bit H.265

Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG

720p960 infinite recording

Built-in Modem none
(Paired with exterior X55 solely)

(LTE Class 24/22)
DL = 2500 Mbps
7x20MHz CA, 1024-QAM
UL = 316 Mbps
3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM

(5G NR Sub-6 + mmWave)
DL = 7000 Mbps
UL = 3000 Mbps

X60 built-in

(LTE Class 24/22)
DL = 2500 Mbps
7x20MHz CA, 1024-QAM
UL = 316 Mbps
3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM

(5G NR Sub-6 + mmWave)
DL = 7500 Mbps
UL = 3000 Mbps

Mfc. Course of TSMC
7nm (N7P)
Samsung
5nm (5LPE)
     

Beginning off with the brand new Snapdragon 888 SoC, Qualcomm’s new flagship mannequin makes iterative steps this era, with the largest adjustments of the brand new design really being within the type of the brand new Hexagon 780 accelerator, which fuses collectively conventional scalar and vector DSP operations with tensor execution engines inside one single IP block.

After all, we’re additionally seeing upgrades elsewhere within the structure, with the Snapdragon 888 being among the many first SoCs to make use of Arm’s new Cortex-X1 CPU IP, promising giant efficiency positive factors relative to final era Cortex-A77 cores. The one X1 cores within the Snapdragon 888 clocks in at 2.84GHz – the identical because the earlier era Snapdragon 865’s prime Cortex-A77 cores, and fewer than the three.1GHz and three.2GHz Snapdragon 865+ and lately introduced Snapdragon 870 SoCs.

Alongside the X1, we discover three Cortex-A78 cores at 2.42GHz, once more the identical clocks because the earlier era 865 SoCs, however this time round with double the L2 caches at 512KB.

The Cortex-A55 little cores stay an identical this era, clocking in at 1.8GHz.

Though we had been anticipating 8MB L3 cache flagship SoCs this 12 months, it does seem like Qualcomm opted to stay at 4MB for this era – however at the very least the corporate dons the X1 core with the utmost 1MB L2 cache configuration.

On the GPU facet of issues, Qualcomm’s new Adreno 660 GPU now clocks in as much as a peak 840MHz – a whopping 43% increased frequency than the Snapdragon 865 GPU. The corporate’s efficiency claims listed here are additionally astonishing, promising a +35% enhance in efficiency. We’ll need to see how this all finally ends up by way of energy consumption and long-term efficiency within the later devoted GPU part.

What’s fairly totally different for the Snapdragon 888 this 12 months is that Qualcomm has moved from a TSMC N7P course of node to Samsung’s new 5LPE node – the widely wildcard on this entire scenario as we haven’t had any prior expertise with this new 5nm node.

The Exynos 2100

Samsung Exynos SoCs Specs
SoC

Exynos 990

Exynos 2100

CPU 2x Exynos M5
@ 2.73GHz 2MB sL2
3MB sL3

2x Cortex-A76
@ 2.50GHz 2x256KB pL2

4x Cortex-A55
@ 2.00GHz 4x64KB pL2

1MB sL3

1x Cortex-X1
@ 2.91GHz 1x512KB pL2

3x Cortex-A78
@ 2.81GHz 3x512KB pL2

4x Cortex-A55
@ 2.20GHz 4x64KB pL2

4MB sL3

GPU Mali G77MP11 @ 800 MHz Mali G78MP14 @ 854 MHz
Reminiscence
Controller
4x 16-bit CH

@ 2750MHz LPDDR5  /  44.0GB/s

2MB System Cache

4x 16-bit CH

3200MHz LPDDR5  /  51.2GB/s

6MB System Cache

ISP Single: 108MP
Twin: 24.8MP+24.8MP
Single: 200MP
Twin: 32MP+32MP

(As much as quad simultaneous digicam)

NPU Twin NPU + DSP + CPU + GPU
15 TOPs
Triple NPU + DSP + CPU + GPU
26 TOPs
Media 8K30 & 4K120 encode & decode
H.265/HEVC, H.264, VP9
8K30 & 4K120 encode &
8K60 decode

H.265/HEVC, H.264, VP9
AV1 Decode

Modem Exynos Modem Exterior 

(LTE Class 24/22)
DL = 3000 Mbps
8x20MHz CA, 1024-QAM
UL = 422 Mbps
?x20MHz CA, 256-QAM

(5G NR Sub-6)
DL = 5100 Mbps

(5G NR mmWave)
DL = 7350 Mbps

Exynos Modem Built-in

(LTE Class 24/18)
DL = 3000 Mbps
8x20MHz CA, 1024-QAM
UL = 422 Mbps
4x20MHz CA, 256-QAM

(5G NR Sub-6)
DL = 5100 Mbps
UL = 1920Mbps

(5G NR mmWave)
DL = 7350 Mbps
UL = 3670 Mbps

Mfc. Course of Samsung
7nm (7LPP)
Samsung
5nm (5LPE)

On the Samsung LSI facet of issues, we discover the brand-new Exynos 2100. Not like the Snapdragon 888’s extra incremental adjustments by way of SoC design, the brand new Exynos is a fairly giant departure for Samsung’s SoC division as that is the primary flagship design in a few years that not makes use of Samsung’s personal in-house CPU microarchitecture, however fairly reverts again to utilizing Arm Cortex cores, which on this case can be the brand new Cortex-X1 and Cortex-A78 cores.

From a high-level, the CPU configuration of the Exynos 2100 appears to be like nigh an identical to that of the Snapdragon 888, as each are 1+3+4 designs with X1, A78 and A55 cores. The variations are within the particulars:

The X1 cores on the Exynos 2100 clock barely increased at as much as 2.91GHz, whereas the Cortex-A78 clock in considerably increased than the Snapdragon as they attain 2.81GHz. The Cortex-A55 cores are additionally fairly aggressive by way of frequency as they now attain 2.20GHz – so total throughout the board increased clocks than the Snapdragon variant.

The place the Exynos isn’t as aggressive although is in its cache configurations. Most significantly, the X1 cores right here solely characteristic 512KB of L2 cache, which is a bit bizarre given the all-out-performance philosophy of the brand new CPU. The Cortex-A78s additionally see the utilization of 512KB L2 caches, whereas the little A55 cores characteristic 64KB L2’s – lower than the Snapdragon counterparts.

Very like the Snapdragon, the L3 cache additionally falls in at 4MB fairly than the 8MB we’d have hoped for this era, nonetheless Samsung does shock us with the utilization of an estimated 6-8MB system stage cache, up from the 2MB design within the Exynos 990.

On the GPU facet of issues, we see a Mali-G78MP14 at as much as 854MHz. That’s 27% extra cores and 6.7% increased frequency, and the corporate can be boasting huge efficiency positive factors because it touts a 40% generational enchancment.

Allow them to battle

In in the present day piece, we’ll be largely focusing round CPU and GPU efficiency, as an particularly attention-grabbing comparability might be to see how the 2 designs do towards one another, provided that they each now use Arm’s latest Cortex-X1 cores and each are sporting the identical manufacturing node.

The GPU comparisons may even be attention-grabbing – and perhaps fairly controversial, because the outcomes received’t be what many individuals can have been anticipating.

Whereas we’d have appreciated to showcase AI efficiency of the 2 SoCs – sadly the software program scenario on the Galaxy S21’s proper now implies that neither SoC are totally making the most of their new accelerators, in order that’s a subject to revisit in a couple of months’ time as soon as the right frameworks have been up to date by Samsung.

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