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CES 2013: Samsung Unveils “Eight-Core” SoC – Exynos 5 Octa

Posted on January 9, 2013 2:15 PM by Rob Williams
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Earlier this week, NVIDIA announced its Tegra 4 processor – one that’s considerably faster than the previous generation and more power efficient to boot. Since then, other vendors have remained a bit quiet, but Samsung broke that silence today by announcing its latest Tegra competitor: Exynos 5 Octa. By the name alone, this is an interesting chip, sporting eight separate cores – something even our desktop processors are lagging behind on (not that the two can be compared, mind you).

To call Exynos 5 Octa an “octa-core” is a little inaccurate in the sense that it’s not a singular chip with eight cores. Instead, it’s designed using ARM’s big.LITTLE design, pairing both a high-performance quad-core with a power-efficient quad-core. For big tasks, the Cortex A15 clocked at 1.8GHz will be engaged, whereas for modest ones, the 1.2GHz Cortext A7 will be called into action instead.

Samsung_Exynos_5_Octa

More specifics are not given, though Samsung does claim that Exynos 5 Octa will offer “twice” the gaming performance of anything currently available. Given that Tegra 4 isn’t currently available yet, we’d assume that the company is not counting it, which should keep NVIDIA’s latest chip in the lead.

On paper, Exynos 5 Octa is an interesting beast, but it’s a little unfortunate that it’s not a true eight-core design. Had Samsung been able to create a singular chip that could simply have the ability to shut off all cores that are not needed, it could have been a much more impressive launch. However, if developers can take advantage of both quad-core chips at once – such as to relegate certain gaming tasks to the smaller quad-core – then things could change.

No release date is mentioned, but it seems likely that phones could come equipped with the chip this summer.


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