Samsung Unveils Exynos 5 Dual Cortex A15 based Mobile Application Processor

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News Posted: Fri, Aug 10 2012 9:04 AM
If you recall, at SIGGRAPH this week, ARM stepped out with a demo of  their Mali-T604 quad-core GPU. The demo platform they were showcasing was based on a dual-core ARM Cortex A15 SoC (System on Chip). It's becoming abundantly clear now which silicon manufacturer produced the development platform and what brand of devices we might see this next generation mobile power plant driving in the near future.

Samsung let fly late yesterday with the details of their next generation Exynos 5 Dual, the first dual-core ARM Cortext A15 based design to hit the market that is sure to offer all kinds of mobile muscle for tablet's and smartphones.  Rumor has it that Samsung is planning a Galaxy Tab 11.6 tablet with a WQXGA 2560X1600 display that could out the new SoC in a debut launch later this year.  Talk about pixel density; that's a resolution typically found on 30" desktop LCD's. Amazing stuff to be sure.

Additional details on the device spec list runs down impressively as follows:
  • CortexA15 dual core subsystem with 64-/128-bit SIMD NEON - 1.7GHz
  • 32KB (Instruction)/32KB (Data) L1 Cache and 1MB L2 Cache
  • Mali T604 GPU
  • 128-bit Multi-layered bus architecture
  • Memory Subsystem
    • 2-ports 32-bit 800MHz LPDDR3/DDR3 Interfaces
    • 2-ports 32-bit 533MHz LPDDR2 Interfaces
  • 8-bit ITU 601 Camera Interface
  • USB 3.0 Support
  • Wi-Fi Display Support
  • Multi-format Video Hardware Codec: 1080p 60fps (capable of decoding and encoding MPEG-4/H.263/H.264 and decoding only MPEG-2/VC1/VP8)
  • 3D and 2D graphics hardware, supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/Halti, OpenVG 1.1 and OpenCL 1.1 full profile

The Exynos 5 Dual's nearest competitor should be Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 architecture.  However, even the Krait clocked at 1.7GHz will likely have a tough time competing with this 1.7GHz A15 speedster, especially in gaming and graphics. The new Mali T604 GPU supports the OpenGL ES 3.0 and OpenCL 1.1 rendering, not to mention memory bandwidth in excess of 12GB/s to drive that gorgeous 2560X1600 top-end resolution.  Time will tell.

On the IO side of things, USB 3.0 is a first for mobile devices with its 5Gbps transfer speeds, as well as Wi-Fi Display for broadcasting 1080p video wirelessly to your TV.
Samsung Exynos 5 Diagram
Time will tell but Q4 is looking pretty exciting in the mobile space with the possibility of a quad-core Snapdragon rearing its fierce head as well.

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DesktopMan replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 10:02 AM

"The Exynos 5 Dual's nearest competitor should be Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 which is based on an ARM Cortex A9 architecture."

This is not correct. S4 is a Krait based SoC, which is similar to Cortex A15. The old Scorpion core was more like an A8 variant.

"However, even the Krait clocked at 1.7GHz will likely have a tough time competing with this 1.7GHz A15 speedster, especially in gaming and graphics."

How the Exynos 5 holds up to the S4 Pro isn't that clear IMO. We will have to wait on benchmarks for that. Krait core vs A15, memory bandwidth and Adreno 320 vs Mali T604 can all affect that outcome.

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Dave_HH replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 10:16 AM

DTMan, typo on my part with the A9. I was running too fast to get this up. Correction made. And agreed on the performance projection. It was just a projection on my part, which remains to be seen but also why I have "time will tell" in there.

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This is an amazing piece of hardware to help mobile apps process better. As an app developer myself I have noticed that the technology is improving, but promoting is still as hard as ever. I plan to go to The App Show ( in San Diego to promote my app. They have speed meetings with investors, and those type of face to face meetings are key to getting funded and getting investors.

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