Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Samsung Building 64-Bit Custom CPU Core

By - Source: CNET | B 33 comments

CNET reports that during a presentation at Samsung's Analyst Day in Seoul, South Korea, Samsung revealed a two-prong approach in creating a 64-bit chip: develop a 64-bit chip based on ARM's design, and then its own "optimized" 64-bit CPU core design afterwards. This approach was revealed by Stephen Woo, president of System LSI at Samsung Electronics, although a specific time frame for the custom core was not provided.

"Many people were thinking, why did we need 64-bit for mobile devices?" asked Woo. "People were asking that question until three months ago. And now I think no one is asking that question. They're asking, when can we have that?"

Previously, sources in Korea said that the next-generation 64-bit SoC would be an Exynos Octa eight-core chip using four high-performance Cortex-A57 cores and four energy-efficient Cortex-A53 cores. These cores would be able to operate independently, or in big.LITTLE processing configurations. Samsung presumably intends to release this chip with full support for big.LITTLE MP, allowing the SoC to use all eight cores simultaneously rather than the 4/4 configuration used in the current two chips.

"We are marching on schedule," said Woo. "We will offer the first 64-bit [processor] based on ARM's own core. After that, we will offer an even more optimized 64-bit [processor] based on our own optimizations."

Currently, the biggest benefit from using a 64-bit chip is the larger memory capacity, allowing devices to sport 4 GB and greater. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are already pushing into the PC realm with 3 GB of RAM, and it's only a matter of time before that number doubles. Apple's iPhone 5S may feature a 64-bit chip, but the company chose to remain with 1 GB of LPDDR3 memory. The A7 processor used in that phone is an ARM-based design, but optimized and tweaked by Apple.

The Tech Report adds to CNET's report, stating that Samsung revealed interesting information on Through-Silicon Via (TSV) technology, which allows memory and logic circuitry to be stacked on the same package. Samsung claims it has a real chip that uses TSV and is running all the software -- a chip that offers 14 percent better memory performance than LPDDR3 with 60 percent lower power consumption. The next generation will supposedly boost the performance advantage to 30 percent.

Samsung will reportedly begin producing SoCs using its 14 nm FinFET process starting next year. The company also plans to bring its 3D V-NAND flash memory to client SSDs next year. This vertically stacked NAND is already shipping in Enterprise-class drives and should hit mobile devices by 2015.

Display 33 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    house70 , November 8, 2013 8:50 AM
    At least they DO build their own CPUs.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    house70 , November 8, 2013 8:50 AM
    At least they DO build their own CPUs.
  • -2 Hide
    MKBL , November 8, 2013 8:53 AM
    I don't like Samsung as corporation for its sly marketing tactics and doubtful ethics, but still buys its product for reliability and technological edge. I don't like Verizon for the same reason, but still carry Verizon. Why not covert to others? Well, I can't find good alternatives to meet all the criteria.
  • 3 Hide
    Darkk , November 8, 2013 8:59 AM
    640K of RAM is all you'll ever need. LOL.

    Yeah it's good to see progress of these processors to keep up with the times. 4gigs+ of RAM is going to be nice.
  • -3 Hide
    ram1009 , November 8, 2013 9:09 AM
    MKBL, you are extremely naïve. I'd be surprised if you're over 14 years old.
  • 5 Hide
    milktea , November 8, 2013 9:26 AM
    Samsung has their own FAB, builds their own memory, builds their own CPU. So Samsung is the next Intel? At least in the mobile space?
  • -4 Hide
    128bit , November 8, 2013 9:27 AM
    Never like Samsung products, especially their printers.
  • -9 Hide
    antilycus , November 8, 2013 10:30 AM
    Poor memory management is the ONLY reason someone needs over 4gb of ram. Sure you get a speed increase because the scheduler can grab twice as much data form memory at once, but come on...these devices aren't really using that much power. Minus GPU stuff, this stuff is all pentium1 type processing. There is no way the threads are so complicated and inter weaved that 64 bit and multicore are needed AT ALL.
  • 1 Hide
    jasonpwns , November 8, 2013 10:43 AM
    Ram1009 that is such a well written and insightful response. Aside from you know not actually providing any content.
  • 7 Hide
    Hunt4Epic , November 8, 2013 11:24 AM
    How about some faster storage first? Lower timings ram? These would actually effect most people's day to day use more then adding 64 bit. Not to say 64 bit won't be usefully in the future.
  • 1 Hide
    Hunt4Epic , November 8, 2013 11:36 AM
    How about some faster storage first? Lower timings ram? These would actually effect most people's day to day use more then adding 64 bit. Not to say 64 bit won't be usefully in the future.
  • 2 Hide
    darkchazz , November 8, 2013 11:53 AM
    Lack of sources and documentation for their SoCs is why I will never buy an exynos device again.

    Too bad TI stepped out of the SoC business.
    At least we have qualcomm. excellent documentation and full support from cyanogenmod and kernel developers.
  • 2 Hide
    icrf , November 8, 2013 12:17 PM
    The biggest benefit in using a 64-bit chip isn't a higher memory capacity ceiling. The biggest benefit is in the accompanying new architecture that implementing the 64-bit instruction set gets you (doubled register count, etc.)
  • 8 Hide
    doomtomb , November 8, 2013 12:31 PM
    Quote:
    Never like Samsung products, especially their printers.


    No one likes any printer. Don't hate on Samsung
  • 5 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , November 8, 2013 12:37 PM
    Only Windows phones really need 64-bit SoC's. Apple just needs an excuse to appeal to its sheep. I take that back, when consumers catch up and start using their phones for everyday Desktop-like PC computing, all phones will need to be as beefy as last year's Desktop PCs. But, who nowadays installs Adobe CS onto their iPhones, let alone docks their phones into a keyboard/mouse and large screen? Who tries to play Crysis on their Windows phones? No one, yet. Make it happen.
  • 2 Hide
    JohnPMyers , November 8, 2013 4:50 PM
    This article almost implies Apple makes it's own A7 CPUs. Just to be clear, that's false. Samsung has made every single iPhone processor for Apple, regardless of model. Since the A5, they have all been made in Austin, Texas at Samsung's fab there.
  • 0 Hide
    urbanman2004 , November 8, 2013 5:42 PM
    A phone with 64-bit processing power is cool but that's more than what the average person needs. If that were the case, I wouldn't need my PC.
  • 0 Hide
    ericburnby , November 8, 2013 7:43 PM
    Quote:
    At least they DO build their own CPUs.
    But they don't design them.

    Quote:
    Samsung has their own FAB, builds their own memory, builds their own CPU. So Samsung is the next Intel? At least in the mobile space?
    No. When Samsung starts designing their own processors then they could be like Intel.

    Quote:
    This article almost implies Apple makes it's own A7 CPUs. Just to be clear, that's false. Samsung has made every single iPhone processor for Apple, regardless of model. Since the A5, they have all been made in Austin, Texas at Samsung's fab there.

    But Apple designs them. That's the hardest part by a long shot and puts Apple way ahead of Samsung. Anyone can build a processor if they're given the "plans". The real brains are who makes the plans.

    The A7 is by far the most advanced mobile processor in the world. And it gets this title because of Apple, not Samsung.

  • 6 Hide
    frogr , November 8, 2013 9:34 PM
    Apple licensed the cpu design for the A7 cpu from ARM. Apple at most tweaks it and adds some of the system support functions. That is a long way from designing a new instruction set and all the chip design to implement it - something that Samsung is not doing either.
  • 2 Hide
    CaptainTom , November 8, 2013 9:34 PM
    Oh if only Samsung would enter the desktop CPU market and give intel some real competition...
  • 0 Hide
    noob2222 , November 9, 2013 1:11 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    At least they DO build their own CPUs.
    But they don't design them.


    did you even read the article that states Samsung is going to make their own custom arm core?

    now where was that article at ... if I could just find it again.
Display more comments