There was a lot of confusion surrounding the hardware specs of the Galaxy S II when Samsung announced the superphone last month at Mobile World Congress. Samsung’s official press release said the device featured a dual-core application processor, but it never mentioned which specific CPU was inside. When we questioned Samsung on this we were initially told it was a Tegra 2 chip and then later informed it was actually Samsung’s Exynos 4210.
NVIDIA then sent out a press release to announce their Tegra 2 was powering the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and hinted at an upcoming phone by saying, “the companies are also partnering to bring a new Android-based super phone with a dual-core CPU to consumers, for never-before-seen experiences.”
Since that time three separate sources have all provided evidence that suggest Samsung will dual source some of the components for the Galaxy S II, which includes using two vendors for different regions to supply the processor.
First Pocket-lint discovered a Samsung Galaxy S II product brochure that noted the dual-core Exynos application processor “may not be applicable in some regions”. Then our friends at Anandtech spotted a Tegra-powered Samsung phone with the model number GT-i9103, which is quite similar to the Galaxy S II model number GT-i9100.
Finally we have a post written by Desire Athow of ITProPortal who says an unnamed NVIDIA spokesperson showed him a slide that confirmed they would power an upcoming Samsung phone.
A recent report from the Korea Times suggested that Samsung Semiconductor will quadruple the shipment of their mobile application processors, but 50 percent of the capacity for 2011 will be reserved for Apple. That would be more than the supply for its own products such as Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab, so it makes sense that Samsung would turn to another vendor to keep up with the high demand.
Both the Tegra 2 and Exynos platforms should offer similar performance, but NVIDIA appears to have a slight advantage when it comes to premium content. NVIDIA just launched their Tegra Zone app, which highlights games that are specifically optimized for Tegra 2 and over a dozen developers have committed to supplying additional exclusive titles.
Hopefully we should know more in just a few weeks at CTIA in Orlando. Samsung Mobile announced the original Galaxy S at last year’s event and they have another Unpacked event to reveal their new products for US consumers. I expect we will see the Galaxy S II announced for multiple US carriers, so we will have to keep an eye on the specs to see if they differ.
If you were thinking of picking up the Galaxy S II, which processor do you hope Samsung uses for the US versions? Would you like to see them stick with their Exynos chip or go with the more popular Tegra 2?