Details are still scarce at this hour, but stories have begun to break from Korea that Samsung just announced their first mobile processor to feature ARM’s Cortex-A15 core. The new dual-core Exynos 5250 is built on Samsung’s 32nm-low power HKMG process, and it will run at speeds up to 2 GHz.
Tech blog SammyHub was one of the first English sites to spot the Exynos 5250, and they report it will offer 2x the processing power and 4x the graphics performance of a 1.5GHz dual-core SoC based on Cortex-A9. The faster GPU, rumored to be an ARM Mali-T604 or T658, promises support for stereoscopic 3D displays and a display resolution of up to WQXGA (2560×1600).
Samsung says the Exynos 5250 will be used in high-end tablets and mass production will begin in Q2 2012. If they meet their goal and mass production begins on time, then we would expect to see devices based on this platform appear in the second half of 2012. That means Samsung’s 2 GHz Exynos 5250 will appear right around the same time that Texas Instruments introduces their 2 GHz OMAP5.
Both SoCs will feature two ARM Cortex-A15 cores, but that’s about where the similarities end. TI will use a 28nm process technology, feature a PowerVR SGX544MP GPU, and use two low-power ARM Cortex-M4 cores. Samsung on the other hand will use their own 32nm process, feataure an ARM Mali GPU, and possibly use two low-power ARM Cortex-A7 cores in a big.Little setup.
As we stated earlier this month, 2012 will be the year of reducing battery drain and both of these next-generation processors will help acheive longer battery life.
It’s also worth noting that Samsung is still working on their quad-core Exynos 4412 that features the older Cortex-A9 cores. This is expected to be their last high-end chip based on Cortex-A9, but it will be available before the 2 GHz Cortex-A15 parts. That’s why we still think it could appear in the upcoming Galaxy S III.
Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see what kinds of devices are created with these ultra performance, low power processors. The ability to drive higher resolutions should allow devices with larger displays, which could finally turn Android into a full desktop OS. Current versions of the Android OS and innovative devices like the Transformer Prime are close to providing a PC-like experience, so I could picture a full-on Android laptop with Chrome browser and a larger display.
Android fans freaked out when Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha promised a 2 GHz mobile device back in 2010, but it turned out he was talking about a dual-core Tegra 2 processor instead. Two years later, we might finally see his dream come true.