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Mobile graphics power doubles with new Samsung chip

3 minute read

Samsung/RedSharkSamsung Exynos Octa

Samsung announces a new mobile chipset that doubles processing capability compared to its predecessor

There are so many ARM based chipsets around that it's hard to keep track of all the new variants that seem to appear with increasing frequency. It's not helped by some bizarre naming conventions. For example, Samsung's new Exynos 5 Octa has eight processing cores and a six core graphics engine.

What's interesting about this new chip is that it boasts twice the graphics performance of its predecessor, and is fully equipped with OpenGL ES 3.0 and Full Profile Open CL 1.1, which, Samsung says, "...enables the horsepower needed in multi-layer rendering of high-end, complex gaming scenarios, post processing and sharing of photos and video, as well as general high-function multi-tasking operations."

Retina Displays

The chip's main processing cores consist of four high-powered ARM Cortex A15 processors running at 1.8 GHz and four Cortex A7 cores running at 1.3 GHz in a so-called big.LITTLE design, aimed at reducing power consumption while retaining the potential for rapid processing. Overall the CPU sections of the chip run 20% faster than its predecessor and the GPU is twice as fast.

The chip itself is capable of powering large retina-style displays, and it can only be a matter of time before this type of chipset finds its way into professional equipment as a way of packing serious video graphics power into small, portable devices.

You can see the full press release from Samsung after the break


Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced the latest addition to the Exynos product family with top level of graphic performance driven by a six-core ARM® Mali™-T628 GPU processor for the first time in the industry. With mobile use case scenarios becoming increasingly complex, Samsung’s newest eight-core ARM Cortex™ application processor gives designers a powerful, energy efficient tool to build multifaceted user interface capabilities directly into the system architecture. Samsung will demonstrate the new Exynos 5 family at SIGGRAPH 2013 in the ARM booth, #357; Exhibit Hall C at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Octa (product code: Exynos 5420), based on ARM Mali™-T628 MP6 cores, boosts 3D graphic processing capabilities that are over two times greater than the Exynos 5 Octa predecessor. The newest member of the Exynos family is able to perform General-Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units (GPGPU) accelerating complex and computationally intensive algorithms or operations, traditionally processed by the CPU. This product also supports OpenGL® ES 3.0 and Full Profile Open CL 1.1, which enables the horsepower needed in multi-layer rendering of high-end, complex gaming scenarios, post-processing and sharing of photos and video, as well as general high-function multi-tasking operations.

"ARM welcomes the latest addition to the successful Exynos Octa 5 series, which uses ARM’s Mali GPU solution to dramatically improve graphics performance," said Pete Hutton, executive vice president & general manager, Media Processing Division, ARM. "ARM big.LITTLE™ and ARM Artisan® Physical IP technologies continue to be at the heart of the Octa series and now complement the new functionality brought by ARM GPU Compute. This combination enables unprecedented capabilities in areas such as facial detection and gesture control, and brings desktop-quality editing of images and video to mobile devices."

"Demand for richer graphic experiences is growing rapidly nowadays," said Taehoon Kim, vice president of System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics. "In order to meet that demand from both OEMs and end users, we developed this processor which enables superb graphical performance without compromising power consumption."

The newest Exynos processor is powered by four ARM Cortex®-A15™ processors at 1.8GHz with four additional Cortex-A7™cores at 1.3 GHz in a big.LITTLE processing implementation. This improves the CPU processing capability by 20 percent over the predecessor by optimizing the power-saving design.

In addition, the mobile image compression (MIC) IP block inside this System-on-Chip successfully lowers the total system power when bringing pictures or multimedia from memory to display panel. This feature results in maximizing the usage hours of mobile devices with a high-resolution display such as WQXGA (2500x1600), in particular when browsing the web or doing multimedia application requiring the frequent screen refresh.

The new Exynos 5 Octa processor also features a memory bandwidth of 14.9 gigabytes per second paired with a dual-channel LPDDR3 at 933MHz, enabling an industry-leading fast data processing and support for full HD Wifi display. This new processor also incorporates a variety of full HD 60 frames per second video hardware codec engines for 1080p video recording and playback.

The new family of Exynos 5 Octa is currently sampling to customers and is scheduled for mass-production in August.

Tags: Technology