Samsung Samples Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A15 Chip for Mobile Devices

Samsung Reveals Exynos 5250 System-on-Chip with ARM Cortex-A15 Cores

by Anton Shilov
12/01/2011 | 12:31 PM

Samsung Electronics, a leading maker of semiconductors, on Thursday said that it had begun sampling the industry’s first dual-core system-on-chip based on the ARM Cortex-A15 cores. The chip is designed for high-end tablets and has a new powerful Mali T604 graphics core with stereo-3D support.


“The ARM Cortex-A15 brings unparalleled performance to our Exynos processor family and the exploding mobile marketplace. Designers need an application processor platform that delivers full high definition multimedia capabilities, fast processing speed and high performance graphics to meet end users’ expectation for a connected life on the go,” said Dojun Rhee, vice president of system LSI marketing of device solutions at Samsung Electronics.

Samsung’s new dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 based application processor, the Exynos 5250, is capable of processing 14 billion instructions per second (DMIPS, Dhrystone million instructions per second) at 2.0GHz, nearly doubling the performance over a current Cortex-A9-based dual core processor running at 1.5GHz capable of 7500 DMIPS. Moreover, the Exynos 5250 features a doubled memory bandwidth of 12.8GB/s compared to current dual-core processors that support a maximum of 6.4GB/s to enable fast data processing features, superb 3D graphics and high-resolution display.

The Exynos 5250 design was architected to drive up to up to 2560*1600 (WQXGA) display which reflects the significance of advanced display technology transitioning toward ever higher and sharper resolutions. The 3D graphics processing capabilities, enhanced by more than four-fold over the 1.5GHz Cortex-A9 dual-core processor, besides, the new graphics engine supports stereoscopic 3D for S3D gaming, video and interfaces.


To maximize power efficiencies at the system level, the Exynos 5250 has an embedded DisplayPort (eDP) interface that is compliant with panel self-refresh technology (PSR) applied to the timing controller (T-CON). The embedded PSR technology enables static images to be refreshed directly from the frame buffer memory incorporated in the T-CON, resolving the need for regular display refresh instructions to be made by the application processor in cases such as reading static web pages or e-books.

Samsung’s Exynos 5250 offers a host of peripheral functions including an embedded image signal processor enabling 8MP resolution images at 30 frames per second, a full HD 60fps video hardware codec engine for high resolution 1080p video recording and playback, a HDMI 1.4 interface for multimedia content transmission, along with a diverse scope of embedded booting device interfaces such as SATA, UART, USB and external ports such as USB3.0, eMMC4.5 and eSD3.0.

The chip is made using 32nm high-k metal gate low-power process technology at Samsung's own plants. The Exynos 5250 is currently sampling to customers and is scheduled for mass-production in the second quarter of 2012.