Samsung Talks About 32nm 1.5GHz Exynos SoCby Anand Lal Shimpi on September 29, 2011 5:07 PM EST
In our Galaxy S 2 review we highlighted an extremely unique aspect of Samsung's latest: its Exynos 4210 SoC. The 4210 features two ARM Cortex A9 cores running at 1.2GHz and an ARM Mali-400 MP4 GPU. The A9 implementation is equal to that of TI's and a bit better than NVIDIA's Tegra 2 (MPE + dual-channel memory controller), and the Mali-400 MP4 is the fastest GPU we've benchmarked in a smartphone. The SoC is built on Samsung's own 45nm process.
Today Samsung announced a 32nm addition to the family: the Exynos 4212. CPU clocks jump up to 1.5GHz, while GPU clocks are unknown. Samsung claims GPU performance improves by up to 50% "over the previous processor generation" but that is a bit too ambiguous for me to extract anything real from. The move to 32nm could have simply enabled a 50% increase in GPU clock speed.
Samsung's 32nm process uses high-K + metal gate transistors, similar to a transition Intel made at 45nm. According to Samsung, these new transistors allow for either a > 40% increase in performance at the same leakage or a 10x reduction in leakage current at the same speed. Density also improves by 2x enabling even more complex chip designs (more cores, bigger GPUs, more integration) or smaller die with the same feature set (eventually improving supply and profit).
Specific to the Exynos 4212, Samsung is claiming a 30% reduction in power compared to its predecessor (presumably the 45nm LP Exynos 4210?).
Exynos 4212 will be sampling in Q4. I'd expect to see it in handsets sometime in 2012.