Samsung intros 1.4GHz Exynos 4 Quad processor that'll be used in its "next Galaxy smartphone"

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: April 25, 2012

Samsung Exynos 4 Quad processor

Samsung is planning to introduce us to its "next Galaxy" handset at a May 3rd event, but apparently the company didn't feel like waiting any longer to take the wraps off of the new processor that'll be powering the device. Meet the Exynos 4 Quad, a quad-core processor that'll run at 1.4GHz per core and is based on the ARM Cortex A9. It also has the same measurements as the Exynos 4 Dual chip and is also pin-to-pin compatible with it, meaning that interested companies will be able to immediately make the jump from the Exynos 4 Dual to the Exynos 4 Quad without additional cost or design work. Samsung says that the Exynos 4 Quad is already in production and that it's "scheduled to be first-adopted into Samsung’s next Galaxy smartphone that will officially be announced in May."

So there's your early taste of Samsung's next Galaxy device. The rumor mill has claimed a couple of times in the past that the Galaxy S3 will pack a quad-core chip, and that hands-on video with the dummy outer shell that surfaced last week pegged the new handset as packing a 1.4GHz quad-core processor. Of course, there's still quite a bit more about the Galaxy S3 that we don't yet know, but at least we've now got this morsel of information to keep us going until next week's event. Samsung's full announcement of the Exynos 4 Quad is available below.

Samsung’s New Quad-core Application Processor Drives Advanced Feature Sets in Smartphones and Tablets

April 26, 2012 |  0 Comments | Tomorrow Works

Samsung Electronics today introduced the industry’s first quad-core application processor built on the High-k Metal Gate (HKMG) low-power process technology. With unprecedented performance capabilities exceeding 1.4GHz based on the ARM® CORTEXTM A9 quad-core, the powerful, yet energy-efficient Exynos 4 Quad, allows system-level architects to integrate maximized power efficiencies into smartphones and tablets which enables double the processing power at a 20 percent lower power bill over its predecessor, the 45nm process based Exynos 4 Dual.

Enhanced Multi-Tasking Performance

Multi-core processing delivers enhanced performance, enabling users to accomplish more tasks in a shorter period of time. For example, a task such as streaming video can run on one core while the other cores update applications in the background, connecting to the web and scanning virus-check simultaneously. 

Benefitting from a use case where the parallel processing and workload sharing among the four cores is necessary, the Exynos 4 Quad is particular well suited for heavy-load applications such as 3D games, video editing, and calculation-intensive simulation. 

Due to its 32nm HKMG low-power process and power-saving design, the Exynos 4 Quad has two-times the processing capability over the 45nm process based Exynos 4 Dual while consuming 20-percent less power. To improve power efficiency, Samsung adopted hot-plug functionality to support on-off switching for each core as well as the per-core dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), which offers a dramatic reduction in power consumption by adapting different levels of voltage and frequency when changing workloads.

In addition, the new processor incorporates a full HD 30 frame per second video hardware codec engine for high resolution 1080p video recording and play-back, an embedded image signal processor interface for high-quality camera functionality and an HDMI 1.4 interface for sharp and crisp multimedia content transmission.

Twice the Power, Better Battery Life, No Extra Bulk

Having identical form factor measurements (12mm X 12mm X 1.37 mm), the Exynos 4 Quad is pin-to-pin compatible with the 32nm process based Exynos 4 Dual, allowing mobile device designers to immediately adopt the new solution without additional cost, engineering or design efforts.

Samsung developed a power management IC (PMIC), the S5M8767, as a companion chip to power the Exynos 4 Quad processor. By integrating various circuitry such as nine highly efficiency and programmable buck converters and 28 low-dropout regulators (LDOs) into the small package of 5.0 mm x 5.0mm x 0.4mm, the S5M8767 is designed to scale up or down the dynamic voltage depending on the clock speed in 6.25mV step for managing power delivery and maximizing battery life at the system level.

Already in production, the Exynos 4 Quad is scheduled to be first-adopted into Samsung’s next Galaxy smartphone that will officially be announced in May. Samsung’s Exynos 4 Quad is also sampling to other major handset makers.

Last year, Samsung introduced a new online hub dedicated to its Exynos processor. Designed to facilitate easy communication with industry partners and end users, the new micro-site takes you a step closer to the ultimate experience Exynos delivers; product information, user experience and information on promotion events. More information can be found at http://www.samsung.com/exynos.