When it comes down to Open Source, there are a lot of benefits involved but, for those making hardware to run with it, it can be a bit of a nightmare. Thanks to the fact that Android is running on top of the Linux kernel, getting Linux to run well on any CPU/GPU combo is pretty important and when you're working with the Linux kernel - info is out in the open, for all to see. Which is pretty awesome for us, right?
As engineers were working on the new chip from Samsung, Kukjin Kim - a Senior Engineer on the Software Solution Development Team at Samsung Electronics, left a comment on the Linux Kernel Git page, with the following: "This patch adds support for EXYNOS5440 SoC which is including ARM Cortex-A15 Quad cores."
That sentence alone is enough for us to know that there is a quad-core Cortex-A15 chip coming from Samsung and that it's named the Exynos 5440. Of course, we know nothing about the chip - aside from its name and that it's packing four cores - but, the Exynos 5250 has just hit the scene and we know a bit about it by now. The 5250 is a dual-core SoC packing Cortex A15 cores and a quad-core GPU - the powerful Mali T604. This latest Exynos, is only dubbed the 5440 and not 5450 which makes me think that it won't have quite as high a clock speed as the 5250 which is clocked at 1.7 Ghz a core.
The 5250 is also built using 32nm technology and the 5440 could well be built on 48nm in order to save costs. However, it'd be strange to see Samsung use a less power-efficient process in their quad-core chips. Only time will tell for sure, and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw something of this at CES come January. Samsung's Exynos line is full of fast chips and even the Cortex A9 based quad-cores in the Galaxy S III and the Note II are quick indeed. With the Exynos 5250 powerful enough to power the Nexus 10 and a resolution of 2560 x 1600, as well as the $249 Chromebook.