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Thursday, April 26, 2012
Samsung Confirms Quad-core Exynos 4 Processor For Galaxy S III

Samsung Electronics Co. said on Thursday it would mass-produce its faster quad-core mobile microprocessor to power the third generation of its flagship Galaxy S smartphone, due to be unveiled next week.

The new quad-core application processor is built on the 32nm High-k Metal Gate (HKMG) low-power process technology. The Exynos 4 Quad runs on 1.4GHz and is based on the ARM CORTEX A9 quad-core, enabling double the processing power at a 20 percent lower power bill over its predecessor, the 45nm process-based Exynos 4 Dual. To further improve power efficiency, Samsung also 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 significant reduction in power consumption by adapting different levels of voltage and frequency when changing workloads.

"The quad-core processor offers phenomenal multitasking abilities surpassing any single or dual 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, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics. "Given the diverse functionalities consumers are demanding from their mobile devices today, the Exynos 4 Quad meets those high-performance needs while keeping power consumption very low."

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

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

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.

Samsung also 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 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 adopted first into Samsung's next Galaxy smartphone that will officially be announced next week in London, banking on a heavy marketing campaign heading into the summer Olympics in the city.

Samsung said it is sampling the chips to major handset makers.

The firm is the world's top manufacturer of mobile application processors (AP), enjoying booming sales of Apple's iPhone and iPad as well as its own Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets.

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