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Samsung’s Exynos 7 9610 will bring better AI and photography smarts to mid-range phones

SAMSUNG’S PHONES MIGHT STEAL HEADLINES, but the South Korean giant is still chipping away at chips and has revealed its latest Exynos SoC.

The Exynos 7 9610 chipset is aimed at mid-tier phones rather than high-end handsets like the Galaxy S9. But despite its less than lofty ambitions, it will be able to support deep learning-based image processing and boost phone photography with 480 frames per second slow motion capture.

But first, let’s get down to brass tacks. Built on a 10nm FinFET fabrication process, the 9610 is an octa-core processor built around ARM’s big.LITTLE configuration, with four 2.3GHz Cortex-A73 cores taking care of compute-heavy tasks, and four 1.6GHz Cortex-A53 cores to run less demanding apps and features. This configuration aims to strike the balance between performance and power-efficiency.

On the mobile graphics front, the Exynos 9610 has a second-generation ARM Mali-G72 GPU based on ARM’s Bitfrost architecture, which promises to deliver better graphics performance.

The chipset also contains an image signal processor which takes care of slow-mo photography, even with its so-called “conventional two-stack image sensors” which don’t contain dedicate chips to power fancy smartphone pic snapping. The processor also allows video encoding and decoding at 4K running at 120 frames per second.

And alongside a suite of wireless comms features and an “all-network” LTE modem that supports carrier aggregation, the 9610 has an embedded Cortex-M4f based low-power sensor hub for enabling smooth always-on sensing features, such as gesture recognition, without bothering the CPU.

All this means that future mid-range Samsung phones, such as those from the Galaxy A range, will be pretty capable handsets that offer some flagship features at a much less wallet-denting price.

We can expect to see more sensing, AI, and camera tech in the next-generation Galaxy A5 for example, once the hubbub around the Galaxy S9 has died down. Though we’d rather see Samsung come out with a much-rumoured foldable phone instead. µ

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