Earlier in 2015, Samsung debuted a new system-on-chip (SoC), the Exynos 7420. This chipset has eight application cores, each an ARM reference unit of either the power efficient Cortex-A53 or the highly performing Cortex-A57. The SoC is built on the 14nm process size, which means it is amongst the smallest of system-on-chips designed for the mobile market. The smaller the die size, the lower the power consumption of the processor, which means it can run harder for longer for the same power usage. A side effect of lower power consumption is that the processor produces less waste heat, which gives the smartphone chassis designer an easier job of designing the smartphone or tablet to dispose of the additional heat produced when the processor is working hard.
However, the processor market is constantly evolving and we know that Samsung are pushing their mobile processor technology further still. We have reported on Samsung developing their own custom application core in a similar vein to Qualcomm’s 32-bit Krait core and their new 64-bit custom core, Kyro, to be released with the Snapdragon 820. A customized application processor core allows the chip designer to optimize the processor in a different way to how ARM envisioned the core working. Samsung’s customized processor core is believed to be going into the first of their new under-development chipsets, the Exynos 8890, which formerly went under the codename “Mongoose M1.” The Exynos 8890 is reputed to be clocked at 2.3 GHz or 2.4 GHz and scored very highly in recent benchmarks, showing some 60% higher scores compared with the Exynos 7420. The 8890 is reputed to be built on the same 14nm process size and all being equal, will offer a similar class-leading performance and power consumption combination.
The second new rumored chipset is the Exynos 7880, which is reputed to be based around the ARM reference cores of the high efficiency Cortex-A53 and high performance Cortex-A72, using a traditional big.LITTLE architecture. Other than this, we don’t have much information as to how the 7880 processor might perform but it is expected to be used in Samsung’s mid-range, premium-build A-series of devices. The third rumored new chipset is the Exynos 7422, which was originally reputed to be launching with the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 device. The 7422 is designed very much as a follow up to the Exynos 7420. The 7422 may use the same ARM Cortex A53 / A57 combination of application cores as the 7420, or Samsung may have swapped out the Cortex-A57s for the A72, which is reputed to be offer both higher performance and lower power consumption. Perhaps the Exynos 7422 will be similar in some respects to the Snapdragon 808 in offering a quad core ARM Cortex-A53 cluster with a dual core A72 application core for the heavy duty processing. The Exynos 7422 is expected to find a home in lower to mid-range devices, although the information we have would seem to suggest that the 7422 and 7880 are aimed at a similar point for a blend of the price and performance.