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Fresh from the oven : Samsung’s Exynos 5 Dual

By Rohit Ramesh on Saturday 11th of Aug 2012

Samsung Electronics yesterday unveiled the specifications of their new entrant in the Exynos System on Chip (SoC) chipsets – the Exynos 5 Dual. SoCs are an all in one package Integrated Circuit. In lay man’s terms, it’s a single chip with all the necessary components required for data processing – a processor, GPU and RAM. Exynos 5 termed as the direct successor of Samsung’s indigenous Exynos 4 Quad chipset also provides them with some fire power to go against Qualcomm’s recently released Snapdragon S4 . According to their official website, it is the world’s first ARM cortex A-15 based 1.7 GHz dual core CPU. As its predecessor, Exynos 5 is also manufactured by a 35nm process technology.(Lesser nm translates to smaller chips and thereby lower power consumption ergo better battery life)

Technical Specs.

The main CPU is powered by dual ARM cortex A-15 cores with a maximum clocking speed of 1.7 GHz built on ARMv7 instruction set. If you’re thinking how a dual core chipset can outperform a quad core(Exynos 4), processing power isn’t solely dependent on the number of cores. Samsung states a single cortex A15 processor can deliver double the performance of a single cortex A9 processor with even 30% lower power consumption. It doesn’t let us down in the graphics department either. Exynos 5 is packed with a quad core ARM Mali-T604 GPU which is rated to perform 5 times better to previous Mali GPUs. What we get is a WQXGA resolution(2560×1600 pixels) with 8MP video recording at 30FPS, 1080p HD video playback and stereoscopic 3D support for next gen gaming experience. Apart from all that, it also renders support to DirectX 11(DirectX as in Windows api), OpenGL ES3.0 and OpenCL 1.1. The USB 3.0 and SATA III controllers serve your data transfer needs more than well.(SATA controllers are used by mega storage devices like the hard drives on your computer for the same purpose). It also features two 800MHz LDPDR3 RAM slots at a mind boggling 12.8Gb/s bandwidth.

A comparison with similar chipsets.

Chipset Exynos 5 Dual Exynos 4 Quad Snapdragon S4 Play* Apple A5X
CPU ARM Cortex A-15 @1.7 GHz ARM Cortex A-9 @1.4 GHz ARM Cortex A-5 @1.0 GHz ARM Cortex A-9 @1.0 GHz
Number of cores Dual Quad Dual Dual
GPU ARM Mali-T604 quad core ARM Mali-400 quad core Adreno 203 Power VR quad core
Instruction Set ARMv7 ARMv7 ARMv7 ARMv7
Semiconductor Technology 35nm 35nm 45nm 45nm

On an overall picture, Exynos 5 undoubtedly comes out on top compared to its counterparts. Please do note that this is just an on paper comparison. Performance against actual bench marks is yet to be established.

*Snapdragon S4 has various running models out of which Play is considered for our comparison.

The Bottom Line.

Now that we know Exynos 5 packs a punch or at least promises to do so, those of us who can afford this chip have to wait for another 5-6 months(maybe more) to get an hands on experience. Samsung has not announced its plans for this chipset as of now – be it their own upcoming smart devices (Galaxy Note 3 is rumoured to be a front runner) or devices from other manufacturers. But this definitely looks like a force to reckon with for Samsung’s survival in the mobile chipset market and for powering their next gen smart devices as well.

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