SEOUL, Korea, September 10, 2013 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced its Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) solution for the Exynos 5 Octa to fully maximize the benefits of the ARM® big.LITTLE™ technology. The HMP capability gives system-level designers the ability to develop solutions that deliver the right combination of high-performance and low-power to carry out tasks such as 3D gaming, complex augmented reality and advanced web browsing.
“It’s usually assumed that the big CPU will do all the performance-critical work, however, power-efficient little cores can handle many significant workloads all on their own, so the workload is balanced within the system,” said Taehoon Kim, vice president of System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics. “big.LITTLE processing is designed to deliver the right combination of processors for a specific job. An eight-core processor with HMP is the truest form of the big.LITTLE technology with limitless benefits to the users of high-performance, low-power mobile products.
“ARM big.LITTLE multi-processing technology delivers the highest performance and efficiency across the widest range of workloads,” said Noel Hurley, vice president, Strategy and Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. “We welcome Samsung’s continued commitment to deploying the leading-edge technology on their latest chips featuring the ARM Cortex™-A series of processors, ARM Mali™ GPUs and ARM Artisan™ physical IP.”
HMP is the most powerful use model for ARM big.LITTLE technology, as it enables the use of all physical cores at the same time. Software threads with high priority or high computational intensity can be allocated to the 'big' Cortex-A15 cores while threads with less priority or are less computationally intensive, can be performed by the 'LITTLE' Cortex-A7 cores, enabling a highly responsive, low-energy system to be built.
Software implementation is essential to maximizing the benefits of big.LITTLE technology. Multi-processing software controls the scheduling of threads of execution to the appropriate core. In earlier versions of the big.LITTLE software, the whole processor context is moved up to the ‘big’ core or down to the ‘LITTLE’ core based on the measured work load. In-depth study and analysis of diverse use case scenarios enable Samsung to achieve efficiency and high-performance, while managing power levels to deliver optimal user environments.
The HMP solution for Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa application processors will be available to customers in 4Q of 2013.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
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Samsung rolls out software to boost its octa-core processors
Samsung's Exynos 5 is among the fastest smartphone CPUs on the market. It can be found in several of the South Korean company's top end smartphones and phablets including some versions of the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S4.
While the Exynos doesn't offer quite the same punch as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, it certainly is more flexible. The Exynos 5 is one of the first octa-core processors. It combines four ARM Cortex-A7 cores with four larger ARM Cortex-A15 cores. The intent is to use the smaller (more power efficient) cores for lighter work and switch to the larger cores for more demanding tasks.
But now, an upgrade in the form of Samsung's big.LITTLE technology will allow for HMP or Heterogenous Multi-Processing - all eight cores will be able to run at the same time or activate in whatever combination is most appropriate for the load the device is under. This should result in higher processing power for the chip and possibly better efficiency as well.
The update is expected to be released sometime in Q4 of this year. Though Samsung has not yet announced which versions of the Exynos 5 chips (if any) will benefit from the upgrade beyond the latest Exynos 5420.