Samsung and Qualcomm have been reliable partners since the rise of Android, to the mutual benefit of both the phone maker and the OEM chip supplier. But according to this report from Bloomberg, that relationship has hit a rocky patch as Samsung prepares its next flagship phone, presumably the Galaxy S6. An anonymous tipster told Bloomberg that Samsung will decline to use a Qualcomm chipset for the phone after poor testing of the Snapdragon 810, the OEM's top-of-the-line processor.
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.
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.
New phones and tablets aren't the only thing that Samsung will unveil in Barcelona. A recent Twitter post indicates that the company will reveal a new line of Exynos mobile processors, cryptically titled "Exynos Infinity." The post from the official Exynos account omitted any other details, but a debut during the Samsung Unpacked event on February 24th (concurrent with, but technically distinct from, Mobile World Congress) is a safe bet.
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There are so many regional and carrier variants of Samsung's Galaxy S4 flagship that even we can hardly keep them straight, but apparently CyanogenMod hasn't released an official ROM for the white bread, vanilla, Exynos-powered original GS4 before now. But lo and behold, a new build for the GT-I9500 GSM model has appeared on the CM download page. It's a test version of CyanogenMod 11 (Android 4.4) if you're interested.
As you may recall, support for Exynos-based hardware has been something of a sticking point for CyanogenMod and other ROM teams.
Samsung saw fit to sneak Android 4.4.2 out on the international Snapdragon-based Note 3 last week (starting with Poland, for some reason), but now things are picking up steam. The first 4.4.2 updates are arriving for the Exynos Note 3 (SM-N900). First up on the update list this time is Russia.
Earlier this week, Samsung announced that it was bringing Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) to Exynos 5 Octa chips. Samsung didn't clarify if HMP would require new hardware, but that was the implication. Now Meizu has unexpectedly announced the Exynos 5 Octa chip in its recently unveiled MX3 will be getting HMP through a software update.
All Exynos 5 Octa processors until now have used cluster migration to manage the ARM big.LITTLE cores.
Since Samsung announced the Exynos 5 Octa at CES 2013, one major criticism has been leveled at its implementation of big.Little technology time and again: for some reason, it has only ever been able to run 4 of its 8 cores at a time. Not only that, but it has never been able to mix-and-match the higher performance A15 cores with power efficient A7 cores to get the best possible configuration for performance and power usage.
Update: Samsung has posted an official response to yesterday's benchmark kerfuffle, explaining that the maximum frequency for the S4 is actually 533MHz, but that it is actually scaled down for "certain gaming apps that may cause an overload". The maximum frequency, according to the statement, is also attainable in "apps that are usually used in full-screen mode" like the gallery, S Browser, etc. This may not fully explain the explicit mention of certain benchmark apps in TwDVFSApp, but it is at least nice to see an official response to the situation.
We knew it was happening, but now things are official. The Samsung Galaxy Note II is coming to Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. This is going to be a big deal, and not just because this phone is physically massive.
The centerpiece of the Note II is the 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD panel at 1280x720. This screen uses Wacom inductive technology so you can make use of a pressure-sensitive S Pen, which docks neatly in the body of the phone when you're not using it.
When the first Galaxy Note launched, everyone was reasonably skeptical. Was the world ready for such a large phone? Turns out, yep. So now, it would be expected for more carriers to want in on the action. Cue Sprint, stage left. One curious XDA member started poking around in some Sprint documents and found reference to one "SPH-L900." We know SPH is a designation Sprint uses for its Samsung phones (Galaxy Nexus is SPH-L700, Galaxy S III is SPH-L710, etc.), but the L900 is brand new.