Developing custom chipsets is not easy, and Samsung has learned this the hard way over the past few years. They have had a few successes, mainly in the midrange to premium markets, but the company has also had to endure some underperforming chipsets, especially at the highest end of the smartphone market, which also produced too much heat to compound their misery.
For the past two years, Samsung did not release a single in-house chipset targeting the mid-range market. However, this changed in March with the release of the Galaxy A33 5G and the Galaxy A53 5G.
Aside from the release, the South Korean company had remained secretive, releasing little to no information regarding the performance and even specs of the chipset that they had come up with. This has fortunately changed, and we now have plenty to share regarding the Exynos 1280.
To start off, the new chipset from Samsung aims to bring a solid 5G connection to devices in Samsung’s budget to midrange lines. This means we might see the chipset being shipped in devices costing less than Ksh 25,000 before the end of the year.
The Exynos 1280 has been developed on the 5 nm process with two high-speed Cortex A78 CPUs and six efficient A55 cores. The GPU on the Exynos 1280 is a Valhall-based ARM Mali-G68 GPU. This CPU/GPU combination makes the chipset quite powerful and as a result, can do 120 Hz at 1080p resolution as well as recording 4K video at 30 fps.
This is in addition to the chipset supporting 5G connectivity, which puts it right alongside Qualcomm chips in terms of performance in the midrange segment. Keeping up with Qualcomm certainly reflects well on Samsung. They promised the Exynos 1280 will bring flagship performance to the middle range market, and so far it seems like they are keeping their word.
Taking a look at the camera, the Exynos 1280 can support up to a 108 MP sensor. However, the Galaxy A33 5G and A53 5G, the only devices currently running the chipset, have only been fitted with 64 MP sensors.
This will hopefully change down the line when more devices packing the Exynos 1280 are released, as an increasing number of people are making decisions on which phone to buy, purely on its camera setup and performance.
Gaming is one of the areas the company has promised performance will be smoother. The Mali-G68 GPU has been beefed with a technology called Fused Multiply Add (FMA), which should improve battery life. According to Samsung, FMA can perform multiple floating-point operations in a single step.
There is also an AI accelerator incorporated for local machine learning processes, which can reportedly manage up to 4.3 trillion operations per second.
With Samsung planning to bring 5G connectivity to all of their new devices, it increases the probability of other OEMs chasing the same goal. This will in turn result in entry-level devices supporting the technology contrary to the situation we have now where 5G is mostly restricted to the middle range to high-end market, leaving users with entry-level devices out in the cold.