Samsung launches Exynos 9610 SoC with deep learning-based vision and image processing capabilities

While the Samsung Exynos 9610 SoC has been designed to deliver slow-motion video recording it also packs in some deep learning magic that should improve the quality of photos drastically, just like on the Google Pixel 2.

Samsung Electronics has launched a brand new Exynos 7 series SoC called the 9610 that will begin mass production later this year. While it has been designed to deliver slow-motion video recording it also packs in some deep learning magic that should improve the quality of photos drastically, just like on the Google Pixel 2.

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea. Image: Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

To be mass produced by the second half of this year, the mid-range mobile SoC will be manufactured using Samsung's 10nm FinFET process. The chipset, also packs in its own neural network engine that will enable enhanced face detection while providing vision and image processing capabilities.

According to the Samsung, the advanced face detection is smart enough to recognise faces that are partially covered with objects such as hair or a hat. In fact, it is so powerful that faces don't even need to be facing forward to be detected.

Other Pixel-like tricks include a single camera out-focusing even augmented low-light imaging capabilities. Smart depth sensing will help deliver bokeh images using just a single camera sensor.

The 9610 with its vision and image processing capabilities can even enhance signal-to-noise (SNR) and brightness that should improve image quality in low-light images drastically.

For videos, the Exynos 9610 will add 480 fps for slow motion video recording and even throw in 4K recording at 120 fps using HEVC (H.265) format. Yes, and this is still a mid-range SoC we are talking about.

The ISP inside the 9610 has been improved to deliver performance by 1.6 times and a doubled mobile industry processor interface speed (MIPI).

Samsung Exynos 7 Series 9610 SoC. Samsung Newsroom

Samsung Exynos 7 Series 9610 SoC. Samsung Newsroom

With the crazy image-processing capabilities out of the way it's time to take a look at what's under the hood.

We have octa-core setup with 4xCortex A73 and 4xCortex A53 cores clocked at 2.3 GHz and 1.6 Ghz respectively. Add to this a ARM Mali-G72 GPU along with support for LPDDR4X RAM.

There is also a low-powered Cortex M4-based sensor hub that will enable features like gesture recognition and context awareness, shedding the load off the main processor.

Connectivity sees an LTE modem with support for Cat.12 3CA for downlink and Cat.13 2CA for uplink. Add to this Wi-Fi MIMO, Bluetooth v5.0 and support for an FM Radio (finally). There's also the usual serving of a 4-mode Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

“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.”

Indeed, all of the above capabilities do make up for what appeared to be Samsung's lack of interest in the Galaxy S9 and S9+ this year. The brand seemed like it was preparing for something big with its tenth anniversary S Series. Considering the capabilities of this mid-range chipset, we can expect a lot more  from the high-end one to arrive on the Galaxy X early next year.

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