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Exynos 2400: What you should know about Samsung's chipset return

Here's what to expect from Samsung's return to mobile chip development.
By
October 12, 2023
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra GeekBench 5 benchmark
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Update: October 12, 2023 (9:20 AM ET): We’ve updated this article after Samsung confirmed the existence of the Exynos 2400. We’ve also added some official CPU, GPU, and AI details.

Original article: After a long history in the custom mobile processor game, Samsung somewhat unexpectedly dropped its Exynos chipset from the Galaxy S23 series, opting to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip exclusively — a “Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy” to be precise. While unconfirmed, troubled development and dubious performance were the likely culprits behind Samsung’s decision.

However, Samsung is back with the upcoming Exynos 2400 mobile processor. Here’s what we know and what we think we know about Samsung’s next flagship chipset.

Will there be an Exynos 2400 processor, and when will it arrive?

We heard rumors about an Exynos 2400 chipset early in 2023, but Samsung finally confirmed the processor’s existence and a few details in October.

We’re expecting the Exynos 2400 to debut inside some Galaxy S24 series phones in early 2024. This would be in keeping with the firm’s long-standing approach of offering a new Exynos processor inside some next-gen Galaxy S phones.

In saying so, the Galaxy S23 series bucked the trend and was powered entirely by Snapdragon silicon. Samsung also signed a deal with Qualcomm for Snapdragon chips to power Galaxy S flagships globally.

Samsung has already previewed the Exynos 2400, so it definitely exists.

Nevertheless, rumors point to a mix of Exynos and Snapdragon power for the Galaxy S24 series. The most repeated claim is that the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus will receive an Exynos 2400 SoC while the Galaxy S24 Ultra will receive a Snapdragon chip.

This would be a change from the usual Exynos/Snapdragon split, which took place on a regional basis. For example, the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra were all powered by the Exynos 2200 chip in Europe. Meanwhile, these phones were all powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in the US and several other locales. Either way, it looks like we could be in for a return to the Exynos versus Snapdragon war.

What features will the Exynos 2400 have?

We’re still a long way from the release of Samsung’s next flagship smartphones, but that hasn’t stopped Samsung and the rumor mill from churning out a bunch of specifications. Here’s what we know and what we expect so far.

The latest Arm Cortex CPUs

Arm Cortex X4 A720 A520 CPU logos
Arm

Samsung has confirmed that the Exynos 2400 CPU will offer a 1.7x increase in performance over the Exynos 2200. What will this CPU look like, though?

The Exynos 2400 would almost certainly use the latest Arm CPU cores, ensuring that the processor is competitive with the competition. The CPU is rumored to be configured in a rather exotic 1+2+3+4 setup for 10 cores in total.

The Exynos 2400 CPU is said to consist of a single high-performance Arm Cortex-X4 clocked at 3.1GHz, two Cortex-A720 cores at 2.9GHz, another two A720s at 2.6GHz, and four power-efficient Cortex-A520 cores clocked up to 1.8GHz. Interestingly, this differs from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s rumored eight-core, 1+2+3+2 arrangement. We’ll likely also see cache differences between the two Cortex-A720 clusters, though it’s doubtful Samsung will ever detail this low-level information.

Moving to the latest ArmV9.2 cores means the Exynos 2400 will be 64-bit only. The Android ecosystem has almost entirely shifted to 64-bit anyway, with the Play Store serving 64-bit apps since late 2021 and China’s stores recently moving over, too. This change likely won’t have much bearing on the user experience, other than a few legacy applications that may cease to function.

Next-generation AMD graphics

Gaming Phones test playing Call of Duty Mobile in game
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

One of the Exynos 2200’s differentiating factors was its Xclipse 920 GPU, built on AMD’s RDNA 2 graphics architecture. Complete with ray-tracing capabilities that bested the competition in benchmarks, this first-generation attempt showed promise, and it was a shame not to see how this evolved in 2023.

Samsung confirmed that the Exynos 2400 will offer an Xclipse 940 GPU based on AMD’s RDNA 3 architecture. The company didn’t dish out specific performance gains here. However, it played a live demo to showcase the GPU’s improved ray tracing capabilities using “global illumination, reflection and shadow rendering.”

Either way, we hope the AMD-powered GPU is a major step up from the Exynos 2200 GPU and can take the fight to 2024’s rival flagship processors.

Next-gen modem and AI

Artificial Intelligence is 2023’s big buzzword and Samsung will undoubtedly make improvements here. AI operations per second, a rather meaningless statistic on its own, are rumored to clock in at 44 TOPS. Reports suggest that this figure won’t quite match the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3‘s 60 TOPS, but it all depends on what can be done with these operations, what bit-depths are supported, and how efficient the NPU is compared to running tasks on the CPU.

For what it’s worth, Samsung revealed that the Exynos 2400 touts a 14.7x increase in AI computing performance over the Exynos 2200. It also demonstrated a new AI tool for “upcoming phones” that allowed for on-device text-to-image generation. So it looks like powerful generative AI capabilities will be available here.

On the networking side, Samsung announced its Exynos 5300 modem in early 2023, with headline features including 10Gbps download and 3.87 upload speeds. This part is rumored to be heading to the Google Tensor G3 but seems somewhat similar to the capabilities already touted by the unnamed modem in the Exynos-powered Galaxy S22. However, it does feature additional two-way satellite communication tech, which we imagine will make its way to the S24. We also expect a future Exynos modem to go a step further, possibly boasting advanced carrier aggregation technologies, improved power efficiency, and other features in the newer 3GPP 5G Release 18.

Finally, the Exynos 2400 is reported to support blazing-fast UFS 4.0 memory, LPDDR5X RAM at up to 8.5Gbps, as well as 320MP imaging and 8K60 video support via the image signal processor. Whether or not all these features end up supported in the Galaxy S24 remains to be seen. Samsung has a history of cutting some capabilities to ensure feature parity when dabbling in multiple chipsets.

What we want to see from the Exynos 2400

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy S23 size difference
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

As the potential lynchpin of Samsung’s next flagship smartphone, at least in some regions, there are a couple of things we really want Samsung to put right with the Exynos 2400.

No throttling, maximum performance

High on the list of every Exynos enthusiast’s wishlist will be for the coming generation’s performance potential to be realized in the real world. Despite plenty of on-paper promise, previous Exynos models have struggled to keep up with the competition when it came to retail devices.

In the case of the Exynos 2200, this wasn’t helped by the subpar performance of Samsung Foundries’s 4nm manufacturing node. High temperatures led Samsung to throttle the performance of its chip, reducing game frame rates after just a very short time. A similar issue affected the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, also built on Samsung 4nm, but Qualcomm moved over to rival foundry TSMC to sidestep the issue in subsequent chips.

Overheating was the cause of previous Exynos issues and we really don't want to return to it.

Samsung Foundries has moved on to its improved fourth-generation 4nm node and is gearing up its second-generation 3nm process for mass production, which Samsung claims is up to 22% faster and 34% more power efficient than the previous 4nm generation. The Exynos 2400 will almost certainly be produced on one of its latest nodes, although some reports hint at the latest 4nm rather than 3nm node. Hopefully, that will consign previous performance issues to history, but we won’t know until we have silicon in our hands.

No more Exynos versus Snapdragon compromises

One of the nice things about Samsung moving entirely to Snapdragon is that no one is short-changed on performance or features based on where they live. Every Galaxy S23 performs the same, and we certainly don’t want to return to the old imbalanced days with the S24 series.

While chipset differences will inevitably result in some performance differentials, the most important thing is that the majority of user experiences are identical. That means equivalent sustainable gaming performance, picture quality, AI capabilities, and networking stability. If that’s not going to be the case with the Exynos 2400 versus Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, then a more limited release would be preferable until the series is more comparable.


There’s still a way to go until Samsung unveils the Galaxy S24 series, and Samsung still hasn’t revealed all Exynos 2400 details. So we’re eager to find out more ahead of the S24 series launch.

What do you most want from the Exynos 2400 processor?

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