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Samsung Tapes Out 1 Gigahertz+ ARM Cortex-A15 SoC

Synopsis, a design automation company, said that the processor runs "at operating speeds in excess of a gigahertz" and was manufactured in a 32 nm process using high-K metal gate technology.

"Our mission is to deliver the highest frequency while minimizing power for high-end processor and graphics cores targeted to the mobile computing and digital home markets," said Keith Hawkins, vice president at Samsung's Austin Research Center. "Globally, this was the first production tapeout of a Cortex-A15 processor and we relied exclusively on IC Compiler and the Galaxy tool suite to predictably achieve our performance and power targets."

According to ARM, the Cortex-A15 architecture supports clock speeds of 1 to 1.5 GHz for smartphones in single- and dual-core configurations, while set-top boxes could be scaled to 2 GHz quad-core versions, servers to 2.5 GHz quad-core processors and wireless infrastructure devices could use eight "or more" cores down the road.

  • saturnus
    I thought there was a Cortex A15 in the Krait SoC? Guess not.

    Should be interesting. They promise 50% better performance than A9 and 20% lower power consumption even without the BIG.little heterogenous setup with A7 ultralow power idle aux cores.

    Also interesting to see that Tom's so far has completely missed the release of the Intel Medfield which didn't rock any boats as promised but was only able to par 2 year old top models like SGS2 and Iphone 4 (not 4S), and that's with a 33% overclock advantage on both CPU and GPU and much larger reference form factor, some would say clunky.
    Reply
  • ohim
    Wonder when phones will start again to have 3-4 days between rechargers .. (not talking about 1 week +) for now most of the smart phones are totally useless if you plan to be away from a power outlet more than 24 hours.
    Reply
  • neuromancer2701
    TI announced OMAP5 in Feburary so this is basically the same thing for Samsung. What does "Tapes Out" mean in this context?
    Reply
  • scook9
    saturnusI thought there was a Cortex A15 in the Krait SoC? Guess not.Should be interesting. They promise 50% better performance than A9 and 20% lower power consumption even without the BIG.little heterogenous setup with A7 ultralow power idle aux cores.Also interesting to see that Tom's so far has completely missed the release of the Intel Medfield which didn't rock any boats as promised but was only able to par 2 year old top models like SGS2 and Iphone 4 (not 4S), and that's with a 33% overclock advantage on both CPU and GPU and much larger reference form factor, some would say clunky.Krait is not based off the arm core, they only license the instruction set, not the cores. Just like AMD cpus are still x86 but not the same core design as Intel.

    And the SGS2 is almost 1 year old....and Intel did that well with a single core - dual core with improved architecture on the way.
    Reply
  • saturnus
    scook9Krait is not based off the arm core, they only license the instruction set, not the cores. Just like AMD cpus are still x86 but not the same core design as Intel.And the SGS2 is almost 1 year old....and Intel did that well with a single core - dual core with improved architecture on the way.
    True. February 2011. Seems like 2 years ago. My bad.

    I disagree on the Medfield performance though. It's hyperthreading enabled single core. That has always been Intels attempt to avoid having to go multicore. However, it does not consistently out-perform a dual Cortex 9 core even in single threaded workflows although being clocked 33% higher. CPU stress tests on other sites also show very poor battery performance when the CPU is heavily taxed but that might be an early issue that will be addressed.

    I won't hold my breath for Intel ever making a competetive SoC for the smartphone space, not in this or next generation. A viable tablet SoC perhaps for those few requering legacy x86 support for their Windows 8 tablet.
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  • What is this???
    This was done long time ago .. dual core Exynos 5250 @ 2 GHz
    http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/Exynos/products5dual.html
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  • @neuromancer

    it's a manufacturing term, it should be Tape-out without the s, it basically means the Photo mask has been finalised and ready for mass production
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  • 830hobbes
    ohimWonder when phones will start again to have 3-4 days between rechargers .. (not talking about 1 week +) for now most of the smart phones are totally useless if you plan to be away from a power outlet more than 24 hours.That's not a technological challenge but an engineering design decision. It's easy to make a phone that lasts for 4 days, just add a big enough battery compared to the hardware. The constraint is that the engineers are told to make the smallest phone possible with a 6-hour or so battery life. If companies were convinced people would buy a thicker phone with a longer battery, they'd make it (RAZR MAXX?). It's a simple matter of market demand determining engineering constraints, as it should be. If people don't like it, they should let cell phone manufacturers know they'd buy thicker phones. If companies aren't listening and it really is a profitable market segment, a competitor should emerge that will support it.
    Reply
  • shasheng
    Etudions bien et faisons des progres chaque jour.
    Reply
  • ojas
    @saturnus

    What???!!! What review of the Medfield SoC have you read? Go read the xolo x900 review on AnandTech.

    This is a die shrink of the Core 2 architecture! That's a 4 year old architecture whipping A9 dual cores in most CPU benchmarks. It was standing toe to toe with phones running ICS while it was running gingerbread.

    Battery life was mid-range but not bad by any means, plus the X900 has a smallish battery anyway.
    The graphics chip is a non-intel component. Plus the X900 is based on intel's reference design.
    If they want to, all they need to do to is add a faster graphics chip and throw in a larger battery. It's a thick unit anyway.

    Add the 22nm Silvermont Atom and they've done it.

    I don't know about you ppl, but I'm downright excited about x86 SoCs
    Reply