Recently, Samsung Electronics released its first integrated 5G SoC known as Exynos 980. However, it’s not the first SoC that comes with integrated 5G modem. A couple of months back MediaTek officially announced the world’s first integrated 5G SoC which includes Helio M70 modem. On the other side, in the list, if external 5G modem we have the Exynos 9825 which was released last month. So without further ado, let’s compare all three SoCs in a Samsung Exynos 980 vs Exynos 9825 vs Helio 5G M70 SoC comparison:
Note: MediaTek has not named the 5G SoC yet, so let’s call it Helio 5G M70 SoC.
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Starting with the CPU section, Samsung Exynos 980 is manufactured in the same process as Exynos 9820 which is 8nm. For Exynos 9825, it’s the world’s first SoC with 7nm EUV process. Meanwhile, MediaTek 5G M70 SoC is made on 7nm process technology but it’s not confirmed whether it’s FinET or EUV. The process technology is the primary reason behind the performance and power-efficient of the SoC. We don’t know why Samsung decided to use this process even if the previous Exynos 9825 is running on a much better 7nm EUV process. In the process comparison, Exynos 9825 is clearly the winner until Helio M70 official confirmation of the process. If it’s 7nm FinET for MTK 5G SoC, then Exynos 9825 will remain the winner.
Moving to the CPU section and frequency, the newly announced Exynos 980 features an octa-core design (2 + 6). It’s the second processor to feature the new Cortex A77 core. Getting into the details, we have 2 x Cortex-A77 cores running @2.2GHz which are definitely upper cores, and 6x Cortex-A55 cores running at @1.8GHz, which are lower cores.
When it comes to Exynos 9825, the process might be the latest, however, the CPU cores are not. It competes with the current SD 855 Plus, and Kirin 980. The processor has an octa-design (2+2+4), where there are 2x customized Mangoose (M4) cores running @ 2.73 GHz, 2 x Cortex A75 running @ 2.4 GHz and 4x Cortex A55 running @ 1.9 GHz.
Helio 5G M70 SoC detailed CPU configuration is not available at the moment, however, it does feature a Cortex A77 and Cortex A55. Moreover, it’s the first SoC to feature the Cortex A77 core.
Comparing all three of these SoC, in terms of frequency and cores distribution, Exynos 9825 takes the lead. However, still, it doesn’t have a Cortex A77 core which is way better than Cortex A76 and A75. So, high frequency means nothing here. Since both Exynos 980 and MTK 5G M70 SoC features Cortex A77 CPU, and the frequency and core distribution of MediaTek 5G SoC is not known at the moment, we can consider it a tie.
Exynos 980 has a slightly upgraded GPU (ARM Mali-G76 MP5) in comparison to the Exynos 9820 and 9825’s GPU (ARM Mali-G76 MP12). However, MediaTek Helio 5G M70 SoC is on the next level featuring the next generation of Mali GPUs starting with ARM Mali-G77. Moreover, since the process is 7nm, the long term heat generation is in control and offers better performance at high temperature.
Since, its the AI era, all three SoCs features an integrated NPU. Exynos 980’s NPU offers 2.7x AI processing similar to Exynos 9825. Samsung SoCs aren’t that much towards AI performance at the moment as Kirin and MediaTek. MediaTek confirms that the 5G M70 SoC has an integrated NPU, however, no other information is revealed at the moment. However, considering MTK’s previous AI performance in SoCs like the upper mid-end Helio P90 and lower mid-end P70, and P60, we can conclude that it will be a lot better than the above mentioned Exynos 980 and 9825 SoC.
Now moving to the real deal, for which these three SoCs proudly brag about, is the 5G networking compatibility. All these SoCs support Sub-6GHz frequency used for the 5G network. Exynos 980 and Helio 5G M70 SoC uses an integrated 5G modem which saves spaces and energy. However, Exynos 9825 has an external 5G modem which is Exynos Modem 5100 to run the 5G network.
Talking about the speed, Exynos 980’s Sub-6GHz speed is 2.55Gbps (Downloading) and 1.28Gbps (Uploading). Moreover, the 4G speed is up to 1Gbps in 4G and 3.55Gbps in dual mode.
Furthermore, Exynos 9825’s Sub-6GHz and 6GHz has a downloading speed of 2Gbps and upload speed of 316Mbps. It does support dual 5G + 4G LTE mode.
As for Helio 5G M70 SoC, thanks to the Helio M70 integrated modem, the Sub-6GHz speed is 4.7 Gbps download and 2.5 Gbps upload which is double than that of Exynos 980.
Exynos 980 also features a better ISP, WiFi and promotes HDR 10+ than the Exynos 9825. It allows features the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, IEEE 802.11ax. Meanwhile, Exynos 9825 relies on WiFi 5 standard, IEEE 802.11ac.
Hopefully, Mediatek Helio 5G M70 SoC will also feature Wi-Fi 6 standard, IEEE 802.11ax. The HDR 10+ support remains unclear. So with the limited information at this time, Exynos 980 will take the lead here, otherwise, tie.
Samsung Exynos processors are usually seen exclusive to Samsung. The pricing of the phones which bear these high-end SoCs is usually high such as the Galaxy S and Note series. Whereas, MediaTek is well known for providing the cheapest SoC considering the performance. Though, the price difference between a Samsung Exynos 980/9825 phone and Helio 5G M70 SoC phone would be around $100 to $200, given the fact that this 5G SoC will be a high-end SoC after the dismissing of Helio X chips, there would still be a $5 to $15 gap. Thus, both the MTK chip and the phone incorporating it will be much cheaper than the Exynos one. Exynos 9825 will be the second cheapest and then Exynos 980 will be expensive.
At the moment, Exynos 980 and MediaTek Helio 5G are the only SoCs which integrates 5G modem to save space and better. Meanwhile, Exynos 9825 takes more power and space with an external modem. The internal modems have better download/upload speeds as well in comparison to the external ones. MediaTek takes the lead here with a 5G speed double than that of Exynos 980.
Exynos 980 is only pushed back because of the 8nm process but it does contain the latest Cortex A77 core. Here, MediaTek takes the advantage thanks to the much better 7nm process (technology not announced). Exynos 9825 does has a better process among all three which is 7nm EUV, but still, it doesn’t have the Cortex A77, and we know there’s only a minor performance difference between 9820 and SD 855/Plus.
With the current info of Helio 5G M70 SoC, it outstands the other two SoCs in many sections. MediaTek is clearly the winner here because of the highest 5G connectivity speed, 7nm process, most powerful GPU, and Cortex A77 core. Surely, when the complete features are revealed, it might even outstand in the other categories as well. At this moment, the results are:
Information taken from: (1) , (2)