CES’s New Mobile Chips: The Big Three

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa

Samsung unveiled its latest piece of silicon, dubbed the Exynos 5 Octa. This chip is the next level after Samsung’s recent Exynos 5 Dual found in the Nexus 10. It’s also based on the new ARM A15 architecture. The difference in the new chip is that it leverages the powerful A15 based processor by using ARM’s big.LITTLE concept works off the idea of using two different processors on the same chip, one powerful and the other power-efficient. Samsung’s chip utilizes two quad-core processors on the same chip die. There’s the heavy lifter quad core A15 processor and the low power consuming quad core A7 processor. This totals up for an 8-core or Octa core chip. Samsung boasts that the 3D gaming performance is twice of anything on the market right now, including their very own Exynos 4 Quad in the Galaxy S3. The battery drain is supposed to be 70% lower than the Exynos 5 Dual. This chip will probably be seen in the Galaxy S IV and the Note III.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 & 600

Qualcomm has also showcased its latest silicon too, and boy is it good. The new chips are called the Qualcomm 800 and 600 series. If you aren’t aware, Qualcomm’s S4 chips were found in the US variants of a lot of flagship smartphones purely because they played well with LTE. Later on, towards the end of the year the released the much more powerful S4 Pro which made its way into the Optimus G and the Google Nexus 4.

First we’ll talk about the more powerful Snapdragon 800 which Qualcomm claims is 75% faster than the S4 Pro, and this is a big deal. It has a quad-core Krait processor which can go up to 2.3GHz which is crazy fast. There’s support for high speed LPDDR3 RAM. The graphics have been bumped up to an Adreno 330 which deliver 4X the performance of the S4 Pro which is good new because the S4 Pro has some issues with the new 1080p displays out there. It can shoot 4K video at 30fps and 2K video at 60 fps, so now we just need some mobile cameras which support this. It will deliver great 7.1 channel DTS-HD surround sound. All this works off a newer 28nm fabrication process which means that each transistor is 28nm in size! The chip will ship in the middle of 2013.

The Snapdragon 600 is less of a new chip, and more of a updated S4 Pro with the newest tech. The quad core Krait CPU is still here, but it only goes up to 1.9GHz. It has the new LPDDR3 RAM and also “speed enhanced” Adreno 320 graphics which are 2X faster than the S4 Pro. The chip’s graphics aren’t on the 800′s level, but Qualcomm deems this chip worthy to go head on against the Tegra 4 and Intel Clovertrail chips. This chip ail arrive earlier in Q2.

Both chips have super beefed up connectivity options. It has faster 150Mbps Advanced LTE which pushes the boundaries of already fast data. The latest 802.11ac WiFi standard with speeds up to 3 Gbps, and the more universal Airplay-standard, Miracast 1080p HD. These great chips and more will be coming for lower end phones and tablets, dubbed the Snapdragon 200 and 400 which will be formally introduced later in the year.

Nvidia Tegra 4

Just like Qualcomm, Nvidia is also in the battle to be inside your next smartphone. The Tegra 3 was extremely popular in many smartphones because of its great processing power and amazing graphics with 12 graphical cores. Now Nvidia’s back with a new processor for the new year. The newer Nvidia chip is using the same basic processor as seen in the Tegra 3, which is quad-core with another low power core to be used for basic tasks. The 4+1 setup is the same, but it utilizes an all new ARM A15 architecture manufactured with a newer 28nm fabrication process, because of which there will be less heat generated and power consumed. The clock speed hasn’t been mentioned, but I would expect it to be around 2GHz. The real deal here are the new graphics with 72 CORES! That’s insane when you compare that all the competitors use quad core at most. The new graphics is capable of 4K video output and capture, and PRISM 2 which is a new display technology that uses half as much energy. The graphics can also do HDR Burst shots with LED flash, and HDR video, which is amazing because HDR requires you to take 3 frames to make 1 really good looking frame. The standard for video on phones is 30fps which means that the video will need to be captured at 90fps. Last year Qualcomm beat Nvidia because Nvidia wasn’t able to deliver LTE support and the big Q did. Now they have LTE, but on a stand alone chip called the i500 Soft Modem which takes extra space on the cramped phone chipset. Nvidia claims that this chip is the fastest, and they prove it loading a web page in 27s while a Nexus 10, with the Exynos 5 Dual, took 50s. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it the fastest chip, especially when two new chips, above, made their way to the scene.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *