Samsung reveals big-little 8-core ARM for mobiles

January 14, 2013

Bernard Cole-January 14, 2013

Samsung has just launched it’s eight-core ARM-based application, what it claims is the first to use the "big-little" architectural technique to boost power efficiency.

Revealed by company executives at the 2013 CES, the 8-core SoC, designated the Exynos 5,  has a quad-core Cortex-A15 processor for for high performance and a quad-core Cortex-A7 processor desogmed for lowest power operation.

A follow-on to the Exynos 5 Dual, it is being designed in to mobile devices such as the Google Chromebook and the Samsung Nexus 10 tablet. The application processor provides up to 70 percent higher energy efficiency than the previous quad-core Exynos.

The previous generation Exynos 4 Quad and Exynos 5 Dual are both made using 32-nm CMOS and include quad-core Mali GPUs, also licensed from ARM, while the Octa chip will no doubt be implemented in 28-nm CMOS with the quad-core Cortex-A15 running at up to 1.8-GHz and the Cortex-A7 cores running at 1.2-GHz.

It probably uses the same ARM Mali-T604 quad-core GPU used in the Exynos 5 Dual for graphics operation. It will also probably use the same 32-bit dual-channel 800MHz memory controller with its DDR3 and LPDDR3 memory support and peak 12.8GB/s bandwidth.

Another possibility, if it is a relative straight line extrapolation of the Exynos 5 Dual is its use of a dual channel 32-bit memory interface capable of 800-MHz LPDDR3/DDR3 or 533-MHz LPDDR2 capable of 12.8-Gbyte per second and 8.5-Gbyte per second bandwidth respectively.

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