We don't see a lot of Exynos chips shipping in Samsung phones in the US, but the rest of the world is swimming in devices running Samsung's in-house ARM chip. The Exynos 5 Octa (5410) debuted in the Galaxy S4, and now an updated version of that chip known internally as the Exynos 5420 has been officially announced.


Like the older Exynos 5 Octa chip, the 5420 has eight total cores that leverage ARM's big.LITTLE design. That means four full-power ARM Cortex-A15 cores clocked at 1.8GHz, and four Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 1.3GHz. The combination offers more processing power and lower battery usage than running only A15 cores. Samsung claims optimizations in the 5420 have allowed for a 20% increase in CPU performance over the old chip. The 5420 also packs dual-channel LPDDR3 at 933MHz for super-wide memory bandwidth.

The big difference between the 5410 and 5420 is the GPU. Samsung has moved from the PowerVR SGX544MP3, to a Mali T628 MP6 (that's six cores). The new GPU has roughly twice the graphical power of the PowerVR in the 5410, and it fully supports OpenGL ES 3.0 and Full Profile Open CL 1.1. The T628 also allows for GPU computing to accelerate complex operations usually handled by application processors.

The new Exynos is being shopped around to vendors, and won't show up in devices for a while yet. Production is set to ramp up in August, so maybe Samsung's next round of phones will run on the new Octa.

[Samsung Tomorrow]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • http://www.ScienceProUSA.com SciencePro

    This is probably what will ship in the Note 3 right? Wonder how it stacks up to the Snapdragon 800. Qualcomm is seriously on a roll the past year or so, Samsung may be good but my money's on Snapdragons in general.

    • Jay T

      I far prefer the Snapdragon processors, too, but my concern is primarily related to the ability to use different roms on my phone. I have an S3 with a Exynos processor, and I haven't been able to get any stable CM roms on it, which is a pain.

      • Joshua Hill

        The exynos in my S2 has probably had the best aftermarket support of any Android phone ever.

        • Mike Reid

          GS2... Those were the days... ;)

        • Greyhame

          Except, you know, every Nexus device ever. =) But yeah, the S2 was a beast in its time.

          • Joshua Hill

            Damn I'm living in the past. To me the SGS2 still rocks :)

            While Nexus' are well supported I find more roms available ( still S2 roms coming out as we speak) compared to my Nexus 7. However, I haven't attempted to compile a list to compare the two.

          • Simon Belmont

            It does. My friend is still using his Epic 4G Touch (S2 with an Exynos Dual) and he loves it.

            Jelly Bean runs great on it. Good for two year old hardware.

      • brunodmjr

        Search at XDA Forums. Go to the i9300GT forum, at development section (not original development). You will find Temasek's ROM (and Kernel inside topic). The ROM is pretty stable (the camera software is not as good as Samsung, but it is not bad), and bundled with Temasek's Kernel, it is a monster. If you are interested, there are other great ROMs like CrDroid, LiquidRom, AOKP... Just remember to read first, ask latter, and welcome to the community. :D

    • ProductFRED

      In terms of raw power, the Exynos wins. However, power management and developer support definitely goes to Qualcomm's Snapdragon. I purposely bought an international Galaxy S3 before I got my Note 2 because I wanted the Exynos chipset. While it much more powerful than the S4 Pro (dual) in the North American release, it lagged behind in terms of developer support because Samsung never releases the drivers on time. The newer generation of Snapdragons are catching up, and I hope they can finally surpass the Exynos chipset, because they're much easier to develop ROMs around.

      • Hans Pedersen

        Amazing that you know all this from reading a press release about an upcoming SOC. :)

        • neoKushan

          No, he knows this from past experience. Anyone who's done any development on Exynos devices knows how poor Samsung is in this regard.

          • Ror

            Samsung is among the worst, with Texas Instruments being one of the best, especially with how they communicate to the dev community.

          • Ivan Myring

            Its a shame they've stopped making mobile chip's

          • Hans Pedersen

            They stopped because they sucked at it.

          • Cheeseball

            Nope. They were really good at it, especially since they followed ARM's specification to the letter.

          • Hans Pedersen

            Okay, know were really derailing Cheeseball. Samsung are the ones following ARM specs the most today, of the big manufacturers. Both Broadcom and Apple are really customizing their processors as much as they can.

            Not that this is relevant in any way. TI sucked at building processors, and they sucked at delivering them in a timely manner, that is the simple reason no one bought them in the end. Not even Motorola.

          • Cheeseball

            Without a doubt Samsung is following the ARM-architecture closely, however Texas Instruments made really good SOCs back then, especially the OMAP4430 (Galaxy Tab 2) and OMAP 4460 (Galaxy Nexus).

            They wound-down their production since they couldn't keep up with demand, not because their chips "sucked".

          • Hans Pedersen

            Okay, Nostradamus & Son.

          • Cheeseball

            Samsung still haven't released any *proper* developer documentation for any Exynos, so their experience is spot on.

          • Hans Pedersen

            Tell me, how can you be spot on regarding knowing performance specifications of a future product, simply by referring to developer documentation from previous models? Please elaborate, I am very keen to know that magical trick.

          • Cheeseball

            They never mentioned knowing any "performance specifications". We're talking about developer documentation. Samsung is poor in developer support for their SoCs.

          • Hans Pedersen

            "In terms of raw power, the Exynos wins. However, power management and developer support definitely goes to Qualcomm's Snapdragon."

            It's the first sentence in the comment I replied to.

          • Cheeseball

            He's talking about the existing Exynos 4412 (GT-I9300) and 5410 (GT-I9500), not this yet-to-be-released 5420. There STILL is no developer documentation for both SOCs (and even my GT-I9100's 4210).

          • Hans Pedersen

            He's replying directly to a question wondering how this processor will compare, not how previous processors compared. This discussion is utterly pointless.

          • begadkepat

            This is the most hilarious thing I've read all day, regardless of the rest of the thread.

    • Karthik Kumar

      Benchmarks from several sites like Anandtech and GSMArena showed that the Exynos GS4 and the Snapdragon600 GS4 are on par in terms of performance, and the 600 bets the Exynos on battery life.

      • Joshua Hill

        No they showed exynos marginally quicker but substantially worse in power use.

        • Sqube

          So the big.LITTLE architecture does what it's supposed to do? Or is the power drain disproportionate in light of the increase pixel-pushing and number-crunching ability?

          • Joshua Hill

            I couldn't tell you if big.little works as current Android kernels don't effectively implement it although work is being done on rectifying this.

            If you look at chipset power consumption as opposed to the whole phone Exynos is a power hog. I suspect it's Samsung's implementation of the A15 cores that is mostly to blame.

          • Adrian Meredith

            the power drain was because a core component of the cpu was broken and disabled in software. This meant it had to constantly flush the memory buffers wasting energy. This cpu fixes that, causing a 20percent increase and cpu performance and should hopefully use much less power. The gpu in this thing however is a beast!

          • Joshua Hill

            That was definitely part of it. The clock speeds and how Samsung implements the A15 cores I suspect are equally to blame.

            Don't forget there is a 12.5% clockspeed increase (1.6 to 1.8GHz) which is the greater proportion of that 20% gain mentioned in this article.

    • jjrudey

      Snapdragon is definitely looking nice, but, I'm still holding out for Tegra 4.

      • Android_Wins_Big_Time

        Snapdragon is better optimized for software, Tegra 4 is probably the best Gaming machine out there. I'll go with snapdragon, as I'm not a gamer, but the Tegra 4 is also a very good chip.

  • Colin Kealty

    Maybe we'll finally see ipad 3 level performance out of a gpu?

    • garry

      given that the old exynos 5 packed nearly the same GPU as the ipad (SGX544MP3 vs SGX 543MP4), this would be significant upgrade over it and the ipad 4. Like, really significant.

      • Colin Kealty

        Oops meant iPad 4. And well, we're assuming double really means double, we'll see when we get some tests in, not that benchmarks tell the whole story, but they're a good place to start

        • Sean Royce

          It's a shame that games are always favoured on iOS so we miss out on some killer titles. I hope the note III has this, then we can push this thing to it's limits.

        • garry

          ipad 4 runs:

          PowerVR SGX 554MP4

          so yeah it had one more core over the exynos 5 octa in it's current state. *if* the new mali lives up to the hype then it will be a very large upgrade.

          • garry

            gah wait powerVR confuses me



            so there's a bigger gap for the ipad 4 over the exynos 5 octa 5410. Assuming, of course, that powerVRs naming follows any logic.

          • ssj4Gogeta

            Yes, 554 is faster. S800's GPU is about as powerful as Ipad4's. I think it's unlikely that 5420's GPU will be significantly faster than Ipad4's.

    • Android_Wins_Big_Time

      Doesn't Tegra 4 already offer such a good performance? Or even the Adreno 330(found in Snaprdagon 800)?

      • Stacey Liu

        It also offers a much higher TDP, making it fairly impractical in phones.

        • Android_Wins_Big_Time

          Which one?

          • Simon Belmont

            The Tegra 4. That's why NVidia developed the Tegra 4i.

            The Tegra 4i is more phone friendly in terms of heat production and battery usage. Smaller devices (like phones) have smaller spaces, so heat can have a negative impact more easily.

          • Android_Wins_Big_Time

            Thank you for clarifying that one!

          • Stacey Liu

            The Tegra 4. You can use the Tegra 4i in phones, but it's much less impressive than it's bigger brother.

  • uscgamecock

    And we can't get these in the US why?

    • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

      Exynos can't LTE

      • yahyoh


      • Kevin

        Samsung released an S4 with the Exynos Octa and LTE support for Korea, so that's not entirely true.

      • Casin

        Actually it can. There are GS4 Octa variants with LTE. There's a supply shortage.

        • Greyhame

          Honest question: was it not also due to the issues plaguing the 5410? I have a feeling the 5420 will be for the international version and the US Note 3 will see the S800.

      • ProductFRED

        Yes it can. Galaxy S4 Exynos Octa in Korea supports LTE. Even the Galaxy Note 2 supports LTE (although with a separate LTE modem).

        • yahyoh

          even Snapdragons use separate modem -_-

  • MagnificentN

    This is to power the Note 3 xD

    • Justin W

      It's possible - in fact, I'd think that's what they'd use, since they did the same with the S3/Note2, but I'm not sure. We'll find out in October or so, I'm betting.

  • eszol

    i thought the going to put LTE modem inside it


  • Stiggy

    Now I know this doesn't really matter, but I would love to see a benchmark of this. Just because.

  • Ivan Myring

    This is exactly what I did would happen. Note 3 here we come

  • http://www.mobileosworld.com/ Xen Lee

    Even apple uses some of the samsung products in their iPhone. Know more by reading about iOS too on http://www.mobileosworld.com/

  • defred34

    And to think the Tegra 4 hasn't even been out officially.

  • Cheeseball

    Yet Samsung still won't release any proper documentation for their previous SoCs. Great.

  • Simon Belmont

    This is nice to hear. Sadly, for those of us who like custom ROMs on devices that use the Exynos platform, we're left in the dust.

    Samsung doesn't document the Exynos source well. If they did, it would be heaven.

  • QMAMBO13

    Exynos 5420/ Mali 628T Combo versus Snapdragon 800/ Adreno 330 - Existing Benchmarks 'suggest'' former more potent,...; ? "Admixture"