Oh man, if you thought quad-core phones were crazy, your brain should prepare itself for at least twice as much explosion. Samsung just announced at CES its new Exynos 5 Octa processors. These chips, on a 28nm architecture (which means they're small and use less power) have eight dang cores. The company says that this will result in up to 70% battery savings (compared to what is unclear...we would assume the previous Exynos processor).
Intel, not to be left out of the early CES fun, had a couple of announcements for tech fans today – a low-powered platform formerly known as "Lexington," (lovingly called Atom Z2420) for "emerging" value smartphone markets, and the Atom Z2760, codenamed "Bay Trail" headed for tablets and higher-end smartphones.
Intel says that it's already found partners in Acer, Lava International, and Safaricom for the Z2420 platform, and that the chip will be capable of 1.2GHz speed, 1080p hardware acceleration, and support for two cameras (with burst mode).
At ARM TechCon today, the titular purveyor of semiconductors announced its Cortex-A50 series, dubbed "the world's most energy-efficient 64-bit processors." Based on the ARMv8 architecture, the line will launch with the Cortex-A53 and A57 processors, allowing not only for significantly more energy-efficient processing, but SoC scalability that makes the line applicable to devices from smartphones to high-performance servers. The A57 is geared toward high-performance, while the A53 is lauded by ARM as its most power-efficient.
At an event in Milan this morning, ASUS made official the PadFone 2 – the tablet/phone combo device that looks to improve on its predecessor while continuing the goal of providing "incredible mobile flexibility." ASUS touts a redesign of both the phone and tablet elements, the integration of which appears to be much more elegant than the original, with the phone sliding vertically into the back of the tablet, ditching the clumsy door of the original PadFone for a sleek dock.
Before we get too far into this, let's point out that this rumor is coming from an Israeli newspaper, so it is easy enough for a company to disavow stories like these. With that disclaimer out of the way: Amazon may be looking into buying Texas Instrument's OMAP business. As we already know, TI has expressed interest in getting out of the mobile game. Not to say they'll stop making processors, but that the focus would be less on tablets and phones, and more on embedded SoCs for a variety of applications (such as automotive, vision, and robotics).
Speaking at SIGGRAPH 2012, a yearly computer graphics convention featuring some of the most prominent names in the business, Khronos unveiled updates for several key OpenGL properties including the specs for Open GL ES 3.0. OpenGL ES is the primary graphics API for mobile device platforms, including Android and iOS. As you would expect, the updates are rather technical, but here's an overview of what we can expect in the future.
Completely out of the blue Samsung has officially outed its next generation system-on-a-chip (SoC). The Exynos 4 Quad is very much what it sounds like: an updated version of the previous dual-core Exynos chip with four cores instead of two. Each core will be clocked to 1.4GHz, much like the last generation, and it is still going to be based on ARM's Cortex-A9 architecture.
I expected that Samsung would be moving to Cortex-A15 to more adequately compete with Snapdragon S4 and its Krait cores.
An intriguing NenaMark2 benchmark showed up earlier today, giving us a glimpse of an unknown device packing Qualcomm's 28nm Snapdragon S4 Krait MSM8960 SoC. The device has a 1.5GHz CPU, 1024x600 display and an Adreno 225 GPU. Did I mention it's running Android 4.0.3?
As you can see, the mystery device's Adreno 225 GPU got an impressive 54.9 fps – a number that's even more astonishing considering the fact that Samsung's Galaxy SII (which has a considerably smaller 800x480 resolution display) scored 46.2 fps with its Mali-400 MP4 GPU.
Intel's smartphone push is in full swing at CES, they're showing off a brand spanking new reference design, based on their Medfield SoC. Behold:
OK, it's ugly. But reference designs are supposed to be ugly. The point is just to show that an Intel phone is possible. It's strictly about guts - they don't waste any time on design.
It's also still running Gingerbread, which is crazy, because Ice Cream Sandwich is the first version that officially supports x86.
Qualcomm just announced yesterday the details surrounding its Snapdragon S4 System on Chip, promising an impressive array of improvements over their current-gen line.
To begin with, the Snapdragon S4 shifts away from previous 45nm constructions and boasts a trim 28nm process technology, which will improve power consumption and thermal performance, as well as free up more space by using smaller components.
In the CPU department, the S4 CPU, codenamed Krait, will top at 60% better performance over Qualcomm's current Scorpion line, reaching speeds from 1.5 to 2.5GHz, while utilizing asynchronous multiprocessing and dual-channel memory.