updated 10:50 pm EDT, Wed April 25, 2012
Samsung Exynos 4 Quad to rival Tegra 3, more
Samsung on Wednesday ended one of the largest rumors surrounding the new Galaxy S with news of its main processor. The Exynos 4 Quad carries a namesake four ARM Cortex-A9 cores and is made on a newer, smaller 32 nanometer process. Although it clocks in at the same 1.4GHz as in newer Samsung phones, it's roughly twice as powerful while using 20 percent less power, the company claimed.
Along with the smaller, more energy-efficient manufacturing, it can dynamically shut off each core and dynamically scale them up or down depending on the workload. The 32nm design is no bigger than the dual-core chips it replaces.
The chip is pitched both at the expected heavy multitasking as well as particularly intensive tasks where multiple cores will help, such as 3D gaming and media editing.
Samsung is already mass-producing the chip and will show the full potential of the chip at its May 3 event for the next-generation phone. The phone was also being handed out in test samples to "other major handset makers," one of which will be Meizu.
How well the processor stacks up against its immediate competitor, NVIDIA's similarly quad-core Tegra 3, won't be known for some time. Samsung has typically had some of the fastest processors along with Apple's, however, and could jump ahead of NVIDIA. Main rival Apple may face the most pressure. It can likely provide a direct counterpart to the Exynos 4 Quad as it uses Samsung for manufacturing and has been competitive to date, but it would have to wait at least the next iPhone, which is now more likely to show in late summer or early fall.