The semiconductor manufacturers have been busy preparing their 2016 product line up, with examples such as the Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 950, Samsung Exynos 8890 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 being demonstrated and discussed in pre-production guise. For 2016, we are seeing two manufacturers developing their own custom application cores in the shape of Qualcomm and Samsung, whereas other competitors such as MediaTek and HiSilicon are using ARM’s reference Cortex-A72 for the high performance application core, and either the ARM Cortex-A53 for the newly announced ARM Cortex-A35 for the lower performance application core. However, System-on-Chips contain significantly more than the application cores, but also contain the GPU (Graphics Processor Unit), plus location sensors and Internet radios. In the case of these chipsets, we have already seen some of these benchmarked and tested and for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, it’s showing some impressive numbers already.
Samsung’s up and coming Exynos 8890 System-on-Chip would appear to have some big boots to follow in, as we have seen rumors that the next Galaxy S flagship (the Galaxy S7, due out in the first half of 2016) may be available in two variants, one with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and another with the Exynos 8890. If Samsung are to build two variants of the Galaxy S7, each should offer comparable performance and we have already seen how potent the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 will be. Today, we have seen alleged offscreen video performance figures for the Samsung Exynos 8890 and they are, indeed, comparable to the Anandtech-tested Snapdragon 820. Each of these System-on-Chips uses a customized application core design, but the chipsets are otherwise different. The Exynos 8890 has eight application cores and the ARM Mali-T880 MP12 GPU whereas the Snapdragon 820 has four application cores and Qualcomm’s Adreno 530 GPU.
By the numbers, Anandtech’s testing of the Snapdragon 820 showed offscreen results for the Manhatten 3.0 at 45.0 FPS (frames per second), for the Manhattan 3.1 it showed 30.0 FPS and for the T-Rex HD, 90.0 FPS. The Exynos 8890 recorded 47.0 FPS for the Manhattan 3.0, 31.5 FPS for Manhatten 3.1 and 87.1 FPS for the T-Rex HD. In two tests, the Samsung chipset showed slightly higher frames per second, but for the third, it underperformed. The Exynos 8890 data was leaked by leakster and Weibo user “i Ice Universe,” and as such we do not know the ultimate source of this information.