exynos5422 (1)

Samsung Announces New Exynos 5 Octa and Hexa CPUs; Sticks With Older 32-bit Designs

February 27, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

As Mobile World Congress winds down, ready to close its doors tomorrow, the 27th, it’s that time where some of the less exciting news trickles out. This sort of news isn’t neccessarily meant for the likes of us, and is more aimed at potential customers and partners. Much like the announcement of new SDKs for the Gear 2 range of products, the announcement of new Exynos processors is aimed more towards potential clients. Today, the Korean giant quietly introduced two new Exynos 5 chips, one of them an octa-core CPU and the other being a hexa-core CPU, like that at the heart of the Galaxy Note 3 Neo.

First up is the traditional Exynos 5422, which is essentially a refinement of what’s already come from Samsung. Utilizing the same sort of design, the Exynos 5422 is built using a 32nm fabrication process and features clocks speeds up to 2.1 Ghz. With four Cortex-A7 cores clocking up to 1.5 Ghz, that Samsung is promising provide 34% better efficiency from previous Exynos Octa chips, the 5422 seems frugal, indeed. At the higher performance end of the spectrum are four Cortex-A15 cores available up to 2.1 Ghz clock speeds. The cores are arranged int he familiar big.LITTLE design that ARM introduced some years ago now, but thanks to the introduction of Heterogeneous Multi Processing all 8 cores can be together in order to deliver maximum performance.

On to more interesting things and the new Exynos 5260 is a hexa-core CPU that utilizes big.LITTLE in a more cost-effective manner. Aimed for the mid-range handset market, the pair of Cortex-A15 chips running at 1.7 Ghz will deliver the performance, while a quad-core 1.3 Ghz Cortex-A7 group will deliver power-efficiency. This new CPU too supports the Heterogeneous Multi Processing found in the 5422 for simultaneous processing across multiple cores. The 5260 supports resolutions up to 2560 x 1600 and has enough processing power to deal with Full HD content with no problems Built on the 28nm process, the Exynos 5 Hexa 5260 is aimed at budget-friendly devices. Unlike the Exynos 5 Octa 5422 which is destined for bigger things, and can handle 4K video recording and playback just fine.

What’s strange to see here is that Samsung is still using older core designs from ARM. Sure, the Cortex-A15 is still a very capable core design and is at the heart of the Snapdragon 801 – and therefore the Galaxy S5 – but it would have been nice to see Samsung adopt the Cortex-A53 design, the replacement for Cortex-A7. Even MediaTek has adopted newer core designs with their MT6595 chip, which is also 64-bit. Only time will tell what devices we see these new Exynos CPUs in, but the Hexa-Core design could breath some much-needed performance into Samsung’s budget offerings.