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article imageSamsung's new processor brings 480fps slow-mo to mid-range phones

By James Walker     Mar 22, 2018 in Technology
Samsung has announced a new mid-range processor that includes advanced deep learning and image processing features. The Exynos 7 Series 9610 brings features from Samsung's premium chip tiers down to less costly smartphones, including 480fps slow-motion.
Announced by Samsung today, the Exynos 9610 is manufactured using the company's 10-nanometer FinFET process. It's an octa-core chip with four 2.3GHz Cortex-A73 performance cores and four 1.6GHz Cortex-A53 efficiency cores for less demanding tasks. The package includes an ARM Mali-G72 GPU.
Samsung intends the new chip to bring some of its advanced imaging capabilities from its flagship processors down to mid-range smartphones. The company said it will offer a "major boost" in multimedia performance by using deep learning to complete image processing tasks.
The processor includes a neural network engine to enhance facial recognition, depth sensing and noise reduction. It's also capable of merging multiple frames together into a single photo for improved performance in low-light environments. Video capabilities include 480fps slow-motion shooting at Full HD resolution, with 120fps still available at 4K. This has been enabled by a 1.6x improvement in image signal processor (ISP) performance.
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The Exynos 9610 will improve the camera features and performance of mid-tier products in the mobile industry. While Samsung describes it as an option for "high-end" smartphones, most flagship devices will be based on a more powerful chip. Samsung's Exynos 7 range is generally deployed in mid-tier phones for the Chinese market.
"The Exynos 7 Series 9610 is our latest mobile processor that delivers on added power and speed," said Ben Hur, vice president of System LSI marketing at Samsung Electronics. "But more importantly, it sets a new performance standard for high-end devices with its deep learning vision-image processing solution and slow motion video capabilities that change the way we engage with our mobile devices."
Aside from imaging capabilities, the Exynos 9610 also incorporates an embedded Cortex-M4F low-power sensor hub. This can support always-on sensor applications that depend on continual availability, even when the phone is in a power-saving mode. The hub enables the device to continue collecting data from sensors without requiring the main processor to wake up. This significantly improves efficiency by offloading sensor management onto the dedicated chip.
According to Samsung, the Exynos 7 Series 9610 should enter mass production in the second half of the year. It will include a 600Mbps LTE modem, 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and the GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo positioning systems.
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