Samsung’s Exynos M3 offers a wider pipeline and a reported 50% IPC increase

Samsung announces their Exynos 9 9810 SoC

Samsung’s Exynos M3 offers a wider pipeline and a reported 50% IPC increase

One of Samsung’s most exciting hardware reveals of CES was their new Exynos 9 9810 SoC, a chip that promised a 2x increase in single-threaded thanks to an increase in IPC and clock speeds when compared to the company’s existing Exynos 8895 chip. 

This huge increase in performance comes from Samsung’s use of their new Exynos M3 CPU cores, with Samsung listing clock speeds of 2.9GHz, a 25% increase over the 2.314GHz clock speed of the M2 cores in the Exynos 8895. This increase in clock speed is not enough to deliver a 2x jump in single-threaded performance, requiring an IPC increase of around 60% to meet this performance target.  

Anandtech has done some digging and has uncovered some of the design changes that have allowed Samsung to offer such a huge increase in performance, delivering that is a complete overhaul of the company’s M1 and M2 architectures. 

For starters Samsung has widened their front-end stages by 50%, accommodating a 6-wide decoder. Putting this in simple terms, this widened decoder allows the processor to push more data at once, allowing for more complex changes later down the pipeline to accelerate specific workloads. More specific changes include the addition of a second and third floating point/vector pipeline to offer up to a 3x improvement in FP calculations, improved branch prediction and an additional complex integer unit for increased integer multiplication throughput. 

For a more in-depth rundown of these changes, we advise looking at Anandtech’s analysis, though looking at these changes a doubling of single-threaded performance is possible with the Exynos 9810 at Samsung’s listed clock speeds. What remains to be seen however is the power draw consequences of these design changes and whether or not Samsung will need to downclock this SoC to ensure good mobile battery life. Samsung’s Exynos 8890 released with lower clocks on mobile products to increase power efficiency, making it seem likely that the Exynos 9810 will see a similar fate.    


Samsung's Exynos M3 offers a wider pipeline and a reported 50% IPC increase

The Exynos M3 core design is a major leap for Samsung, one that brings the company extremely close to Apple’s custom SoC designs, giving the company an opportunity to surpass Apple’s single-threaded performance if they can continue to improve/innovate with their custom chips designs. 

You can join the discussion on Samsung’s Exynos M3 core design on the OC3D Forums.