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"Evolved" Exynos 5 Octa Soc Teased for Next Week

By - Source: Engadget | B 12 comments

Samsung's SamsungExynos account on Twitter is reporting that a new Exynos 5 Octa chip will be announced next week. It will be a more powerful, enhanced chip, the company teases, but doesn't say anything else about the chip itself. Instead, Samsung is also teasing the #ExynosEvolved Twitter giveaway promising a chance to win some brand new, Exynos-powered devices.

"Year after year, we strive to improve the power and performance of our Exynos processors," the company said. "Now it's time for the next step in our evolution – a more powerful, enhanced Exynos 5 Octa!"

The Exynos 5 Octa features two sets of CPU cores: four slower, low-power Cortex-A7 "LITTLE" cores clocked at 1.2 GHz for the minor tasks, and four powerful Cortex-A15 "big" cores clocked between 1.6 GHz and 1.8 GHz for the heavy duty chores like games and movies. Not all eight cores can perform simultaneously – each set kicks in when needed thanks to ARM's big.LITTLE architecture.

That said, the Exynos 5 Octa can't perform like a true eight-core chip. Perhaps then that's what we'll see next week: an updated model that actually utilizes all eight cores at the same time. Just recently Taiwanese publication UDN said that SoC rival MediaTek is developing such a beast, reporting that it will be based on TSMC's 28 nm process. Called the MT6592, it will go into mass production in November, and will likely end up in smartphones early next year. That's a good reason for Samsung to beef up its octa-core efforts.

There's a good chance the new and improved Exynos 5 Octa will utilize big.LITTLE MP (multi-processing) which allows all eight cores to be used simultaneously. As stated in ARM's big.LITTLE white paper (pdf), Cortex-A15 only needs to be powered on and simultaneously executing next to Cortex-A7 if there are threads that need that level of processing performance. If not, only Cortex-A7 needs to be powered on.

"Cortex-A15, Cortex-A7 and CCI-400 have been designed to cope with worst case snooping scenarios," ARM said. "This includes the case where a Mali-T604 GPU is connected to one of the I/O coherent CCI-400 ports and every transaction is snooping Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 at the same time as Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 are snooping each other."

Samsung's current Exynos 5 Octa is just now appearing in handsets such as the company's flagship phone, the Galaxy S4. The chip is based on 28 nm HKMG (High-K Metal Gate) process technology, and focuses on conserving energy and optimal performance by switching between the two sets of cores. Samsung claims it demonstrates 70 percent better CPU performance while consuming 20 percent less power than the previous Exynos processors.

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  • 0 Hide
    darkchazz , July 19, 2013 11:40 AM
    No sources = No buy.... I've had it with samsung
    My next purchase will be a snapdragon device.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , July 19, 2013 4:05 PM
    Quote:
    No sources = No buy.... I've had it with samsung
    My next purchase will be a snapdragon device.


    There's one in every crowd.
  • -1 Hide
    petertester , July 19, 2013 5:02 PM
    Kind of ridiculous to say not to buy something that doesn't exist. The reality in my opinion is that the current processors are more than capable until a newer generation of software will demand more raw power. The effort should really be in reducing power consumption across the board, not just from a SOC perspective. - http://www.allprepaidplans.com
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , July 19, 2013 9:31 PM
    EVEN THE PREVIOUS ONE USED big.LITTLE FFS WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?
  • 1 Hide
    redeemer , July 19, 2013 10:38 PM
    I will stick with Qualcomm
  • 1 Hide
    deksman , July 20, 2013 2:37 AM
    More computational power in what is essentially a pocket computer is never 'ridiculous'.
    When you consider the amount of things you can do on the go with enough power, then you would probably think differently.
    Of course, the size of the displays is a limiting factor, but then again this is consumer grade technology and nowhere near of our real technical capabilities (by contrast, this would be something out of the 'stone age' compared to what we could do by using latest science, advanced synthetic materials and state of the art methods of production).

    Anyway, I don't see the point in having two sets of 4 core cpu's in a hardware that will all of the time behave like a 4 core one.
    If its for power conservation, then simply set the cores to automatically lower the voltage and speed of the A15 chip down to the lowest possible level and have applications use specific amounts of performance/power for optimal results when needed, unless they are specifically written to take advantage of the full power of the chip (otherwise its just sloppy written program)

  • 2 Hide
    deksman , July 20, 2013 2:37 AM
    More computational power in what is essentially a pocket computer is never 'ridiculous'.
    When you consider the amount of things you can do on the go with enough power, then you would probably think differently.
    Of course, the size of the displays is a limiting factor, but then again this is consumer grade technology and nowhere near of our real technical capabilities (by contrast, this would be something out of the 'stone age' compared to what we could do by using latest science, advanced synthetic materials and state of the art methods of production).

    Anyway, I don't see the point in having two sets of 4 core cpu's in a hardware that will all of the time behave like a 4 core one.
    If its for power conservation, then simply set the cores to automatically lower the voltage and speed of the A15 chip down to the lowest possible level and have applications use specific amounts of performance/power for optimal results when needed, unless they are specifically written to take advantage of the full power of the chip (otherwise its just sloppy written program)

  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , July 20, 2013 7:10 AM
    Wake me when you talk 20nm for next gen. This, if true, will only be worse than the current one without 20nm (or they'd be bragging about power usage). The only BETTER chip would be one that uses less power with the SAME perf for current gen. Until a die shrink any more power just equals shorter battery life.
  • 1 Hide
    somebodyspecial , July 20, 2013 7:10 AM
    Of course it goes without saying I want BIGGER batteries and not THINNER phones.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , July 20, 2013 9:05 AM
    Everyone says they want bigger batteries. I feel like as long as my phone lasts all day things aren't bad. I've not done any testing but I subjectively feel like I'm getting at least this on my 'just-average' phone. ...and since I can swap out the battery if I want all's good. So no, I don't need a 1lb brick that lasts even longer. I'm all for a better/faster/more featured experience on my handheld and tablet.
  • 0 Hide
    m32 , July 20, 2013 1:01 PM
    I don't know why is took Sammy so long? They have an plant to make their chips. I'm sure it would've been better for business if they had their own ARM products in Samsung products.
  • 0 Hide
    laststop311 , July 20, 2013 4:40 PM
    I don't agree with the 8 core big little strategy i think they should take all the silicon space wasted making the extra little cores work in the design and just make a more capable 4 core that uses the extra silicon for power and speed enhancements instead of 4 more cores. Or just have a smaller chip that is cheaper and less complex. Smaller surface area + less complexity = a good amount more cpu's per wafer driving their profits up for each phone sold. They can just undervolt and downclock and overvolt and overclock or anywhere inbetween based on the demands of the load with the switching happening in 10-20 milliseconds in real time basically. So you can still have a very low power usage mode and a higher power usage mode in a chip with a greatly reduced cost due to higher yields and smaller surface area or if they keep it the same size and use the space the little 4 was taking up to do something that would really boost the performance or power savings thats an option too.