Samsung announces availability of the Exynos 5 Octa for high-end smartphones and tablets
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Samsung announced its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone last week in New York City. This week the company is announcing the mass production of its Exynos 5 Octa beginning in the 2nd Quarter of 2013. The ARM Cortex-A15 based SoC with big.Little architecture will make its way into some Galaxy S4 models depending on the target release region. However the exact details of which regions will be getting the Exynos 5 Octa are still unknown.
Samsung introduced the new processor back at CES 2013 where it claimed up to 70% energy savings when compared to processors relying solely on the ARM Cortex-A15. The energy savings are achieved through a combination of Samsung’s 28nm High-K Metal Gate process, coupled with the fact that the Exynos 5 Octa is comprised of two 4-core processors: a powerful ARM Cortex-A15 Quad Core running at a power hungry 1.6 to 1.9 GHz ("Big"), and an ARM Cortex-A7 Quad Core running at a more efficient 1.2 GHz ("Little"). Together these two processors are called big.Little configuration.
Therefore strictly speaking the Exynos 5 Octa is not a classic 8-core processor but rather a 4+4 core processor. However the cores are quite intelligent and can be called upon independently in a mix-and-match kind of way. Though there are scenarios where only one of the two processors will be running, it can also pick one core from the A-15 and 3 from the A-7 for example.
Embedded on the Exynos 5 Octa are an e-MMC (embedded multimedia card) 5.0 and more impressively a USB 3.0 controller. There’s also a video hardware codec for recording and playback of 1080p video (60fps), a signal processor supporting up to 13 megapixel images, and is powerful enough to drive displays of up to 2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution. With a memory bandwidth interface capable of 12.8GB/s it can also drive a full HD display over WiFi.