updated 08:05 am EST, Wed November 30, 2011
Samsung Exynos 5250 twice as fast as before
Samsung on Wednesday raised the bar for mobile chips with a preview of new Exynos 5250 chips. The dual-core design is the first based on the ARM Cortex-A15 and, through the 32 nanometer process and other optimizations, should be much faster than an ARM Cortex-A9. Samsung estimates that a 2GHz Exynos 5250 is twice as fast as a 1.5GHz A9 design without having to jump to quad-core.
The new chip is an equally big leap over earlier hardware in graphics and may be a clue as to the future of Samsung's tablets. Raw performance is about four times faster than on the A9 and has enough headroom to support both stereoscopic 3D as well as 2560x1600 tablet displays.
Samsung has suggested that its next full-size Galaxy Tab might not be available for some time because of the processor. The design is due for "high-end tablets" but won't enter volume production until the spring, leaving any shipping products to the summer.
The schedule may give an advantage to Apple. Although it will have to compete against quad-core Tegra 3 tablets, which might include one from Samsung, it's unlikely the company will have overlapping models. If it waits for the Exynos to upgrade its 10-inch tablet, it could see the iPad 3 ship sooner with similar performance through the rumored but likely A6.