silicon Stories November 30, 2011

Samsung is readying an improved version of the Exynos dual-core chip that will enable next year’s smartphones and tablets to pack in 3D stereoscopic displays with ultra-high resolutions, in addition to the faster graphics and speedier CPU performance. The new chip will be called the Exynos 5250, V3.co.uk reports, and will utilize the Cortex A15 architecture from fables semiconductor design firm ARM Holdings.

It should clock in 14,000 DMIPS, Samsung said, twice the number of instructions compared to the typical ARM Cortex A9-based mobile chips such as Apple’s A5 silicon powering iPad 2 and iPhone 4S or Samsung’s own commonly used dual-core 1.4GHz Exynos 4210 silicon. Samsung did not say what graphics core the 5250 uses beyond mentioning a quadruple jump in graphics performance over the Exynos 4210. The 4210 uses the pretty darn fast Mali-400 GPU from ARM sporting four cores.

Note that Samsung two months ago announced a revised version of the Exynos 4210 chip, dubbed the Exynos 4212. It sports a 1.5GHz clock speed and a dual-core Cortex A9 processing core from ARM, among other things. The Exynos 5250 should make its way into Samsung’s high-end smartphones and tablets in the second quarter of 2012, when the 5250 is expected to go into mass production.

Four times faster graphics processing will let the new Exynos 5250 chip drive tablet displays with WQXGA resolutions of up to 2,560-by-1,600 pixels. Apple too is rumored to upgrade its market-leading iPad with a QXXGA display early next year with. Production of the Retina Display for iPad 3 has already started, the rumor has it. The Cupertino, California company is said to source panels from Samsung Electronic, LG Display and Sharp.

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silicon Stories September 30, 2011

Samsung Electronics at the eighth annual Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum at the Westin Taipei Hotel yesterday unveiled an improved version of its Exynos system-on-a-chip solution for smartphones and tablets. The Exynos 4212 silicon is a successor to the 4210 processor which powers the company’s Galaxy S II smartphone. The new chip features a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processing core clocked at 1.5GHz (versus a 1.2GHz CPU core in the Exynos 4210). The Exynos 4212 will be manufactured using a 32-nanometer process so it should draw less power than its predecessor. It is also 30 percent more efficient, Samsung claims, and sports a 50 percent better graphics performance.

Unfortunately, the company wouldn’t say which graphics processor unit the new Exynos 4212 chip is utilizing. For comparison, the Exynos 4210 in the Galaxy S II smartphone packs in graphics processing unit based on the quad-core Mali-400 core from ARM Holdings, a fables chip maker from the UK. It’s the fastest GPU in any current smartphone, benchmarks show. However, the Mali-400 GPU core falls short in the triangle throughput tests, which is a major disadvantage over the iPad 2′s A5 processor that clocks nine times the graphics performance of the original iPad’s A4 chip.

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