26
Feb
exa

Samsung usually produces both Exynos and Snapdragon variants of its flagship phones, the former mostly used in non-LTE versions. However, the company didn't mention Exynos at all during the Galaxy S5 event. Now Samsung has gotten around to announcing two new Exynos 5 chips, one of which is probably going to be in the GS5.

Exynos-54221

The Exynos 5422 is a small spec bump over the 5420 announced last summer. It consists of four Cortex-A15 cores and four Cortex-A7 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration. The speedy A-15 cores run at 2.1GHz, while the efficient A7s are clocked at 1.5GHz. This chip supports Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP), so all eight cores should be able to operate at the same time. Despite having hardware support for HMP, the 5420 likely hasn't shipped with it enabled. Thus, the 5422 could be the first Samsung octa-core to make use of HMP. It rocks the same ARM Mali-T628 MP6 GPU that was found in last year's Exynos 5 Octa.This is probably the SoC that will be found in 3G versions of the Galaxy S5.

Exynos-52601

The new Exynos 5260 might be more interesting, even though it isn't as powerful. This six-core chip is making its debut in the Note 3 Neo. It comes with two Cortex-A15 cores (1.7GHz) and four Cortex-A7 cores (1.3GHz) in the big.LITTLE setup. Like the 5422, it supports HMP and should ship with it active. The GPU isn't currently known, but it might be the Mali-T624. This chip could provide a great value for the performance.

16Mpixel-CMOS-image-sensor1

On the less sexy end of the tech spectrum, Samsung also detailed its updated camera CMOS sensors. The 16 and 13MP ISOCELL sensors have increased light sensitivity and "30 percent decrease in crosstalk; 30 percent increase in full well capacity; and 20 percent wider chief ray angle." Presumably this is the camera sensor used in the GS5. Lower power WiFi and 45nm NFC chips are also on the table from Samsung going forward.

[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://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Sean Lumly

    It's great to see semi-conductor innovation continuing to happen for the SoC and the camera sensor.

    To me, the innovative ISOCELL is quite exciting. Coupled with computational photography, smartphones will continue to approach the quality of dedicated cameras, despite their sensor area and optics limitations.

  • mlj11

    Remember when Samsung's processors were really sought after? I recall a lot of people being extremely annoyed when the S3 had just been announced, and whichever country they were in wasn't going to get the Exynos variant.

    It now seems that enthusiasts like us all prefer Qualcomm's chips, because the Snapdragon phones get much better aftermarket ROM support.

    Could I also say that Exynos devices haven't really fared very well performance-wise? I know Sammy tends to reserve the Exynos for their tablets, and those always seemed to be laggy out of the box (*cough* OG Note 10.1), although I hear software updates did improve things later on.

    Not sure how these new SOCs will fare.

    • brkshr

      Samsung needs to be more developer friendly. That's why they lost a lot of the ROM scene. They quite being developer friendly and the most of the skilled Exynos developers dropped them like a bad habit.

      They also seem to just be throwing in as many cores as they can fit, without trying to really innovate the technology. It's like me saying I have 16-cores stuffed in my computer, but they're a decade old. I would much rather have a quad-core from this year. I know Samsung improves the tech with each new release. But are they really innovating their SoCs like Qualcomm has been? Samsung needs to concentrate their efforts on making the best quad-core out there and get back to helping developers.

    • ProductFRED

      I paid ~$600 for the S3 i9300 (imported before the US models came out) when it came out. ROMs and kernels were buggy. Plus the phone had SDS (sudden death syndrome, eMMC chip would wear itself out and die and the phone would be a permanent brick). Samsung never acknowledge the problem and you had a 50/50 chance of Samsung repairing it or claiming you tampered with it because the bootloader would say MODIFIED since the phone couldn't read the dead eMMC chip. Was the phone faster? Yes. Was FM radio a nice feature? Yes. Was it worth $600 for a slightly faster, much buggier phone with half the RAM?

      Fuck no.

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    • abobobilly

      I really don't understand why Samsung does that to Devs. I remember when S4 was released with Exynos chipset and devs refused to support it altogether, right on our face. I mean, this shows how annoyed they are by Samsung's uncooperative behavior.

      I for one think its bad publicity for Samsung. Releasing an Android phone and then not giving complete access to source code for devs is like "Launching a Car but not offering any Parts for it".

  • yobbei

    So where is the "Hexa" core? I thought Hexa means 16?

    • justln

      Hexa = 6, Octa = 8.

      • squiddy20

        Which has nothing to do with what he was talking about....

        • justln

          The sneaky bastard changed his reply, he thought Hexa was 16 cores. :3

          • yobbei

            LOL you caught me. I changed it in like 30 seconds!!

    • deltatux

      What need do you have for 64-bit on mobile phones? I personally am in no rush as no devices announced at this year's MWC have 4+ GB of RAM and most software haven't been optimized for aarch64 yet, so other than for marketing and personal pride, there's absolutely no reason to be disappointed in 32-bit ARM chips until at least next year when they are expected to be a bit more mainstream.

      • http://artflowstudio.com/ Bart Janusz

        ARMv8 ISA is significantly better than old ARM ISA (and has several useful extension) thus offering much better performance at lower clock speeds.

        • deltatux

          ARM is known to backport many of its features back to older architectures as revisions. As many people were whining about NVIDIA's decision to use Cortex A9 for the Tegra 4i, they don't realize that the Cortex A9 r4p1 contains many features backported from Cortex A15. I wouldn't be too worried about ARMv8 until very late 2014, early 2015.

          • http://artflowstudio.com/ Bart Janusz

            You can backport ISA can you? And just conditional bit removal allow not only for better branch prediction but also for wider fetch.

          • deltatux

            You can backport features of Cortex A53/57 back, didn't say you can backport an entire ISA. Honestly, I do recognize there are obvious advantages with the new ISA, but what I'm saying is that there is no real rush to go ARMv8 right now. Little to no software takes advantage of it. Look at how Intel dragged its feet before they went fully 64-bit. Point is, whatever improvements that aren't 64-bit related or ISA specific could be backported to the older architecture.

          • http://artflowstudio.com/ Bart Janusz

            You have no idea what you are talking about - every single piece of software will take advantage of ARMv8 - I just tried to explain to you that change in one aspect of ISA (removal of conditional bits in ARMv8) opens multiple optimization possibilities (both on SoC side and compilator sides), and they changed (or rather created new ISA from scratch) a lot of other things.

          • deltatux

            Unless the code has been compiled with the proper optimizations, it won't automatically take full advantage of the new ISA. You'll still have to optimize your own code and recompile it with the new flags in order to take advantage of that. Not all code will be able to take full advantage of the new ISA. Yes, there will be a bit of an improvement with vanilla code, but you won't really see much of a speed increase. Speed increases will likely due to the architecture itself and if you port some improvements back to the old architecture, you can improve the older architecture too. Like I said, like some A15 elements back to A9 to improve its speed and efficiency. ISA is only one piece of the performance puzzle.

            I have a feeling we're not even talking about the same thing here. What I'm talking about is not needing Cortex A53/57 procesors which are inherently ARMv8 right now are not needed nor should be expected in a handheld device, the timing isn't right, they would make more sense as server components right now until late 2014, early 2015. We can argue this until we're blue in the face, but I'm just saying the timing isn't right, there will be a need for ARMv8, but it's not now, maybe a couple more months down the road, but I digress.

          • http://artflowstudio.com/ Bart Janusz

            Let me repeat - ARMv8 means simpler fetch and execution unit, simpler ALU longer pipeline, which mean higher performance on lower clock speeds.
            You don't have to optimize anything just recompile and in case of Android you don't need to do anything because most of Android apps are compiled to intermediate code (dex) and are compiled on device (JIT or AoT).

            But hey we don't need no stinkin' 64bit SoC we have 8 (crappy and usually unused) cores.

      • Erstam

        Maybe this could be used in a for a chromebook?

      • Stacey Liu

        Well it's not really the 64-bit...just everything that comes with ARMv8 we want.

        Why is Apple a year ahead of everyone here?

        • http://artflowstudio.com/ Bart Janusz

          Because Apple (btw. they are more like 18 months ahead of everyone else) design is reason driven and most SoC vendors use marketing driven approach (just to mention Tegra 2 fisco).

          • andy_o

            I'm decidedly not an Apple guy, but the amount of people on "our side" that are in denial about how much Apple influences advances (like high-res displays) is a bit frustrating. And yes, before they chime in, I know Apple weren't the "first" in high-ish res displays, or fingerprint sensors.

    • hot_spare

      Ask google first to make Android 64-bit and ask all devs to make it work on 64-bit environment.

    • Shawn John

      What good is having a 64-bit processor if there is no 64-bit OS to utilize the power? Im guessing well start seeing the 64-bit processor in phones when Android releases 5.0. Even if you had a 64-bit in your phone now, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference because there are no 64-bit apps or OS.

  • Jephri

    If these processors are so great why isn't Samsung using them in the S5?

    • firesoul453

      LTE

      • brkshr

        Prepare yourself for an onslaught of "My Note 2 had LTE and worked just fine"... They don't get that it wasn't integrated on the SoC and optimized like a Qualcomm chip is. Qualcomm owns a lot of LTE patents, so they have a pretty good hold anything to do with LTE.

        • Barnassey

          Yup funny thing though i have both the version of the S3 and S4 and the exynos versions have better battery life than the qualcomms.

          • brkshr

            I don't doubt it. I had the i9300 and it had great battery life. I never had the US version of the S3 to compare though.

            Edit: The developer support was crap though. I sold it in about 2 or 3 months.

          • firesoul453

            No surprise there. It runs exclusively on the LITTLE part when it doens't need a ton of processing power.

            I gotta say I hope samsung gets everything together and put exynos in both us and international versions of future phones.

        • hot_spare

          Not all Qualcomm SOCs have integrated LTE. Even Snapdragon 600 didn't have integrated LTE.

    • hot_spare

      They are using it. They announced that in an Infographic, and then removed it for some reason.

      • Marcell Lévai

        And I'll just go to a corner and cry looking at this infographic, 'cuz I still have the first one...

        • GraveUypo

          i have the middle one and i coudn't be happier. literally. i think i'd be regretful if i bought any of the two bluer ones.

          except mine runs at 1.71ghz.
          and the gpu at 700mhz as opposed to the default 400mhz

  • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

    S4S

  • Matthew Fry

    The 16 and 13MP ISOCELL sensors have increased light sensitivity and "30 percent decrease in crosstalk; 30 percent increase in full well capacity; and 20 percent wider chief ray angle." Presumably this is the camera sensor used in the GS5 this means something to someone but hell if I or anyone else knows what it means.

    • ProductFRED

      Basically better light sensitivity (less noise, better lighting in pictures), the components pass the photo data to the phone faster, and I believe a wider angle lens?

    • abobobilly

      Well 16 and 13MP shows that they are talking about some improvement in their camera sensor.
      /iKid

  • Guest
  • kraniek
    • abobobilly

      Imagine that Angry Bull being a developer who isn't happy with Samsung not cooperating with them for 3rd party dev suppport -.-

      Oh its funny i tell you .

  • Better Battery Life

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    • jesuguru

      My battery drained from loading your comment :)

    • Rama

      get a regular phone, never need charge

  • abobobilly

    I might be the only one caring about the Wolfson Audio chips. Sammy implied in their presentation that there might not be an Exynos variant. But i am feeling this happy tingle inside me. We might get the next Wolfson Chip. But which one, thats the question ... Hm?

    • jesuguru

      I'm with you on dac importance, but Snapdragon's dac performance is comparable to previous Wolfson chips packaged with Exynos - i.e. both great but not audiophile quality.

    • Mattya1989

      I hope the uk model has the Wolfson Audion Chip as well, otherwise I will be skipping the S5.

      • ProductFRED

        You can bet it won't. Exynos doesn't do LTE. The Note 2 had LTE because it was on a separate chip. Samsung does integrated (Snapdragon w/LTE) or no LTE (Exynos). They release hybrid models in Korean that have both Exynos and LTE but those don't usually leave the continent. I was the same way as you, but my S4's Snapdragon's DAC really is just as good and has the same audio mods.

        • Mattya1989

          I didn't buy the S4 as I heard it had a crackling issue with low impedance headphones was that true?

    • Rama

      You are not alone I am a big fan of vinyl rips, so DAC and fast SD card interface are the key for me. I am also Kamerton fan so go figure.

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