Samsung says its new flagship processor is 20 percent faster

The Exynos 990 will probably debut in the Galaxy S11.

Samsung has unveiled a bunch of new chips that mean the next slate of smartphones are going to be faster, more efficient and have much improved battery lives. If you go for next year's flagship Samsung Galaxy, chances are it'll come with the newly-announced Exynos 990 processor, which according to the company is offers a 20 percent improvement in performance or a power efficiency gain of up to 20 percent.

The Exynos 990 follows the launch of the 980 in September -- Samsung's first processor and 5G modem in one-- and last year's Exynos 9820/9825. It supports a 120Hz refresh rate on phone screens, which means smoother gaming and scrolling. It can handle up to six cameras (although only three at once), and has enough guts to manage Samsung's 108-megapixel image sensor, which was announced over the summer.

The company has also unveiled its Exynos Modem 5123, which works alongside the 990 to bring 5G connectivity to phones, boosting top speeds to 8.36 gigabits per second -- a pretty marked improvement on the 3Gbps offered in its previous modem.

Finally, Samsung has announced that it's started mass producing the industry's first 12GB low-power double data rate 4X UFS-based multichip package (uMCP). Until now, high-end phones have carried 12GB of RAM through increased capacity chips -- six 16Gb RAM chips for one 12GB chip. The new uMCP means only four 24Gb RAM chips are needed to make the same 12GB chip. What does this mean? Increased AI potential and more space for a larger battery, for a start, plus a cost effectiveness that'll mean we'll start seeing mid-tier phones getting more RAM in the coming year.