Ahead of the next Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, set to take place between January 9 and 12, a number of Samsung devices have been honored for “outstanding design and engineering in cutting-edge consumer electronics technology” across 28 categories.

Nothing particularly surprising there, as the world’s largest smartphone vendor is often recognized as a trendsetter and industry pioneer in contests like these CES 2018 Innovation Awards.

But in addition to the company’s latest phones, wearables, immersive headsets and gaming monitors, a few unreleased parts destined for tomorrow’s mobile powerhouses also won “design and engineering” trophies, discreetly revealing some things we previously didn’t know.

For instance, Samsung’s next-gen flagship processor is called Exynos 9 Series 9810, which suggests massive performance improvements over the 9 Series 8895 powering (certain variants of) the Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8.

Unfortunately, this undoubtedly potent new SoC is “built on 2nd generation 10nm process technology”, meaning in theory, it’s going to be very hard for Samsung to match the raw speed and energy efficiency of Qualcomm’s 7nm-based, TSMC-made Snapdragon 845 chip.

Don’t worry, though, as the Galaxy S9 should feature both the SD845 and this Exynos 9810 for different regions. Besides, the latter will integrate “industry-first” 6CA (carrier aggregation) support thanks to a groundbreaking in-house Cat.18 LTE modem technically capable of up to 1.2 Gbps download speeds.

An “upgraded” GPU and “3rd-generation” custom CPU cores wrap up the list of enhancements disclosed out of nowhere yesterday, making the battle for gold with the Snapdragon 845 that much more interesting.

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