All our favorite mobile System-on-Chip manufacturers have been hard at work on their Cortex-A15 designs, and Samsung is no different. Today, in Korea, Samsung announced their first Cortex-A15 SoC, the Exynos 5250. Clocked at 2 GHz and produced with a 32 nm process, the chip should offer competitive per core performance as the Qualcomm and TI designs that will be rolling out in 2012; unlike Tegra 3, though, it appears the first shipping product will be dual-core.

Compute performance is expected to double over their 1.5 GHz Cortex-A9 based Exynos processors, and memory bandwidth is quoted as 12.8 GB/s, a huge jump over their prior bandwidth. Unfortunately the release didn't clarify the origin of the bandwidth leap. It also didn't discuss the on package GPU. Graphics performance will reportedly quadruple over their earlier Exynos models, which could eclipse the current graphics king, Apple's A5 SoC.

New power-saving tech involves a low-power frame buffer for static screens, potentially allowing the GPU to be fully powered down when displaying just a home screen or other static image. The GPU will have to be pretty beefy to push the WQXGA (2560x1600) resolution targeted for next generation tablet displays. Hummingbird used PowerVR, Exynos used Mali, and though Samsung has access to other ARM-Mali designs they haven't used yet, they also recently licensed PowerVR's latest GPU designs. We're reaching out to our sources for more information and will update as necessary. 

Source: Samsung (Korea)

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  • hirschma - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    From the article:

    "Today, in Korea, they announced their first Cortex-A15 SoC, the Exynos 5250. Clocked at 2 GHz and produced with a 32 nm process, the chip should be competitive with the Qualcomm and NVIDIA designs that will be rolling out soon, though quad-core parts will be the first products they'll be shipping."

    Besides being a horrendous run-on sentence, it is unclear who "they" is, as in "they'll be shipping". So, is Samsung going to be shipping quad core (despite the article title)? Is Qualcomm? I already know about Nvidia.

    Can someone rewrite this for clarity?
    Reply
  • Glibous - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    I think they'll is Nvidia as their Tegra 3 is a quad-core part. But when comparing the architecture between the Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Samsung Exynos. Their competitive. By this i'm assuming that Nvidia's processor will be superior due to the number of cores but the Exynos will have a higher clock so light threaded applications will see a benifit from the Samsung processor where heavily threaded tasks will see a benifit from Nvidia's processor. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    An increased number of cores does not indicate noticeable superiority, especially when taking about a CPU at architecture advance. Just take aloof at the latest Sandy Bridge E review to see that even with 6 cores, there are only a few tasks when the performance difference is noticeable, and even fewer that justify the cost difference. In a mobile environment where there's usually only one main task running thats not coded to be multi-threaded because it doesn't really need to be, I think a better dual core system will outgun a quad core one.

    Let's face it, quad core is nice, but outside of games, what's is really going to take advantage of it? I certainly hope you won't be doing video rendering on your device as your battery life will be horrible.
    Reply
  • Glibous - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    Did you read my entire post?

    "Exynos will have a higher clock so light threaded applications will see a benifit from the Samsung processor where heavily threaded tasks will see a benifit from Nvidia's processor."

    I'm aware there's no advantage with a quad-core running an application that can't run on all cores. Assuming both Nvidia's and Samsung's processors are similar in performance clock for clock then Samsung's higher clock should have a general advantage.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    They won't though, at least as long as you're talking about the Tegra 3.

    Cortex A15-based designs will have significantly higher performance per clock compared to Cortex A9-based designs like the Tegra 3.

    As noted by Samsung themselves in the press release, they expect a 2GHz A15 design to be /twice/ as fast as a 1.5GHz A9 design.

    This implies a 50% performance advantage, clock per clock, over Cortex A9.

    No doubt this chip will be a screamer.
    Reply
  • Glibous - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    If that's the case then Samsung's processor will be very impressive. I don't know too much about the performance differences between A9 and A15. I was just going by the article stating that Samsung's processor should be competitive with Qualcomm and Nvidia's processor. but if thats the case then yea definately changes things. I still don't know how heavily threaded applications would fare against Samsung's or Nvidia's processors (Architeture advantage vs. # of cores, In-order vs. Out-of-order execution). I'm going to do a bit of research on this for myself. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    So, to ensure that everyone is on the same page let's talk about the products we're looking at in a little more detail. Two manufacturers have committed to releasing A15 based SoCs in 2012, TI and Samsung with OMAP 5 and Exynos 5xxx respectively. Qualcomm will be releasing their latest iteration of a bespoke ARM core in the form of Krait (S4). NVIDIA will be trying to compete the same way they did with Tegra 2, by being first. All four will have quad core parts shipping at some point. Tegra 3 will ship as a quad-core first, and soon. Krait will ship in dual and quad core configurations, and it's unclear which will ship first, but that won't be for a few months. TI will probably ship dual-core first, and that won't be till later in 2012. Samsung is today announcing that their FIRST shipping Cortex A15 based product will be a dual-core Exynos.

    I'm sorry for any confusion my earlier phrasing caused, it's often harder than it looks to paint a clear picture of such muddled and overlapping road maps. I will try harder to ensure further clarity in the future. The ultimate point remains, this will be a potent chip, and we want to find out more about it, as soon as we can.
    Reply
  • joebrooks - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    How is that a run-on sentence? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    When in doubt, throw out terms that suggest poor grammar without knowing what they mean! Though I do think the last part is a bit confusing and thus I'll edit it (e.g. "though quad-core parts" to "quad-core parts"). Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    Thanks Jarred. Apologies for any syntax or grammar confusion. Hope everything is clearer now. Reply

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