Samsung Introduces Quad-Core System-on-Chip for Next-Gen Galaxy S III Smartphone

Samsung's Exynos 4 Quad to Offer Better Performance, Lower Power Consumption

by Anton Shilov
04/25/2012 | 08:42 PM

Samsung Electronics on Wednesday introduced its latest system-on-chip for smartphones and tablets that promises to significantly improve performance and reduce power consumption thans to thinner 32nm process technology. Samsung claims that the new Exynos 4 with four ARM Cortex-A9 cores will power the highly-anticipated next-generation Galaxy S III smartphone and future tablets.


“The quad-core processor offers phenomenal multitasking abilities surpassing any single- or dual-core application processor. Since all the cores must share a single battery, the power management and efficiency in the limited battery capacity are indispensable for mobile computing devices,” said Taehoon Kim, vice president of system LSI marketing at device solutions division of Samsung Electronics.

Samsung Exynos 4 Quad 1.40GHz system-on-chip sports four ARM Cortex-A9 general-purpose cores that fully 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. The new SoC incorporates a full HD 30fps  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 multimedia content transmission.

It is noteworthy that for the Galaxy SIII flagship smartphone Samsung decided to use Exynos 4 Quad SoC with four Cortex-A9 cores to boost multi-tasking performance, but not the Exynos 5 Dual with two Cortex-A15, which are much better in demanding single-threaded applications. The decision to increase core count, but not core complexity indicates that Samsung expects future programs for Google Android-based smartphones to rely on multi-threading and take advantage of multi-core SoCs.

Samsung claims that thanks to new 32nm (HKMG) process technology as well as new techniques that improve power efficiency and cut power consumption, the new Exynos 4 Quad consumes 20% less energy than one its predecessors: Exynos 4 Dual made using 45nm fabrication process. Samsung will also offer Exynos 4 Dual produced at 32nm process tech.

The new Exynos 4-series 32nm SoCs will be accompanied by S5M8767 power management chip 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. The S5M8767 integrates nine highly efficient and programmable buck converters and 28 low-dropout regulators (LDOs).

The Exynos 4 Quad is already in production and is scheduled to be adopted first 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.

“The application processor is a crucial element in providing our customers with a PC-like experience on mobile devices. Samsung’s next Galaxy device, which will be officially announced soon, offers uncompromised performance and ground breaking multi-tasking features, thanks to Exynos 4 Quad’s powerful performance and efficient energy management technology,” said Hankil Yoon, senior vice president of product strategy team at Samsung’s mobile communications business.