Samsung made the headlines with the introduction of its new Exynos 5 Octa 8-Core processor model 5410 last year and its newest version, the 5420 this year. Samsung promised more realistic 3D gaming with its support of OpenGL ES 3.0. Longer and faster multimedia experiences, with their Mobile Image Compression (MIC) function, as well as other benefits. There was only one problem, which Mediatek and Qualcomm were more than happy to point out – you can only use 4-cores at a time, so it is not a true octa-core chip.
The design of the Exynos 5 Octa is made up of four ARM Cortex A15 processors running at 1.8GHz and four Cortex A7 processors running at 1.3GHz. Up until now, only the four A15’s could work or only the four A7’s could work, but not simultaneously which each other. In order to be more energy efficient, the slower, less power hungry four ARM7 cores were used for mundane tasks. For intensive, power hungry applications, the four ARM15 cores would take over, but never shall the two quad-cores work at the same time.
Yesterday, Samsung made announced a Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Capability (HMP) for the Exynos 5 Octa that will allow developers, for the first time, to use all 8 cores at the same time…pretty exciting news. There was just one drawback, Samsung never made it quite clear if HMP involved a hardware tweak or just a software patch that could be applied to existing Exynos 5 Octa chips already installed in the existing Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2 smartphones or the Note 3 you are about to buy.
We are happy to say the answer is “Yes.” This confirmation comes from China’s Meizu, whose newest smartphone, the MX3, also uses Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa chip, posted on a blog that their flagship MX3 would get the HMP upgrade later this year, indicating it is a software patch. This patch could also be used on your Galaxy S4 and Note 3, making them both faster and more power efficient.
This is exciting news for Exynos processor fans and could spell bad news for Qualcomm, depending on how the comparison tests go after the HMP update. Samsung will finally have some real bragging rights for the most cores. What do you think about this news and are you one of the existing Exynos 5 Octa customers.