Samsung Introduces Feature-Rich Ultra-Low Power Chip for Tablets, Smartphones

Samsung's Chips to Rival Apple A4, Nvidia Tegra, Qualcomm Snapdragon

by Anton Shilov
09/08/2010 | 02:29 PM

Samsung Electronics this week introduced its new system-on-chip solution code-named Orion for ultra-portable applications that features two ARM Cortex A9 processing cores as well as massively improved multimedia capabilities. The chip will compete against highly-integrated SoCs, such as Nvidia Tegra and Qualcomm Snapdragon, designed for feature-rich mobile devices.

 

Samsung Orion features a pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores, each comes with a 32KB data cache and a 32KB instruction cache. Samsung also included a 1MB L2 cache to optimize CPU processing performance and provide fast context switching in a multi-tasking environment. Samsung’s new application processor incorporates a rich portfolio of advanced multimedia features implemented by hardware accelerators, such as video encoder/decoder that supports 30fps video playback and recording at 1080P full HD resolution. Using an enhanced graphics processing unit (GPU), the new processors are capable of delivering 5 times the 3D graphics performance over the previous processor generation from Samsung.

Orion integrates a set of interfaces commonly used in mobile devices to configure various peripheral functionalities. For example, with this processor, customers have the choice to use different types of storage including NAND flash, moviNAND, SSD or HDD providing both SATA, and eMMC interfaces. Customers can also choose their appropriate memory options including low power LPDDR2 or DDR3, which is commonly used for high performance. In addition, a global positioning system (GPS) receiver baseband processor is embedded in the processor to seamlessly support location based services (LBS), which is critical in many emerging mobile applications.

Orion features an onboard native triple display controller architecture that compliments multi-tasking operations in a multiple display environment. A mobile device using the Orion processor can simultaneously support two on-device display screens, while driving a third external display such as a TV or a monitor, via an on-chip HDMI 1.3a interface.

“Consumers are demanding the full web experience without compromise while on the go. Given this trend, mobile device designers need an application processor platform that delivers superb multimedia performance, fast CPU processing speed, and abundant memory bandwidth. Samsung’s newest dual core application processor chip is designed specifically to fulfill such stringent performance requirements while maintaining long battery life," said Dojun Rhee, vice president of marketing, at system LSI division at Samsung Electronics.