Jan 23 AT 5:52 PM Taylor Wimberly 27 Comments

Galaxy S III processor made deep in the heart of Texas?


Everything is bigger in Texas. Take for example Samsung’s 1.6 million-square-foot manufacturing complex in Austin. The plant first opened in 1996, but Samsung just finished a $3.6 billion upgrade that added a 300mm automated S2 fab, capable of producing 40,000 wafers per month.

Rumors suggest that Samsung has been producing Apple’s A5 chip at the Austin fab, but earlier this month we learned that they are making other application processors there as well. Richard Yeh, Senior Director of System LSI Marketing, told me the S2 fab was now producing chips on their latest 32nm High-K Metal Gate (HK/MG) low-power process.

Apple’s A5 chip is produced on a 45nm process, but Samsung has several upcoming Exynos processor that will be built with the more efficient 32nm process. Those 32nm models include the already announced Exynos 4212 and 5250, and the rumored 4412.

This month at CES I met with Samsung System LSI, where they had the Exynos 4212 and 5250 on demo.

The move from 45nm to 32nm reduces power consumption.

The Exynos 4212 is an enhanced version of the 4210 found inside most models of the Galaxy S II. It features two Cortex-A9 cores running at 1.5 GHz that offer a 25 percent increase in processing power and an enhanced GPU that promises 50 percent higher graphics performance over the previous generation.

Also on display was the Exynos 5250, Samsung’s first processor to use ARM’s latest Cortex-A15 core. This demo featured a development kit that was hooked up to a HDTV to show off the support for WQXGA 2560×1600 resolution. They also had a Exynos 5250 tablet running Android 4.0.x, but I was politely asked to delete the pictures I snapped.

Exynos 5 could be the first mobile processor with the Cortex-A15 core.

Next to the demo area with the Exynos 4212 and 5250 was a second display closet that was covered with a large black cloth. The blogger in me wanted to peek behind the curtain, but I decided not to get myself in trouble. I asked if Samsung could share any information about the Exynos 4412, but I was told that they are not ready to talk about their quad-core plans quite yet.

I found all this very interesting because many of us have speculated which mobile processor Samsung would use in their flagship Galaxy S III smartphone. If history repeats itself we should see Samsung reveal the highly anticipated device at next month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but nothing is certain.

Samsung is endlessly trying to top the Apple iPhone, so I think we can rule out the dual-core 1.5 GHz Exynos 4212. I see that part as more of a minor bump of the 4210 in the Galaxy S II and doubt it will get used. Most likely we will see Samsung adopt the quad-core 4412, since Apple is also rumored to go quad-core with their upcoming A6 processor.

One not so far off possibility for the Galaxy S III could be the Exynos 5250. This part is slated for the second-half of 2012, but Samsung could leap-frog the competition with the first mobile device to feature the next-generation ARM Cortex-A15 CPU and ARM Mali-T604 GPU. This would require a delay of the Galaxy S III from its normal summer release schedule, but it’s the choice I’d make if I was in charge.

Hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer to find out the mysteries of the Galaxy S III. Mobile World Congress kicks off on February 27th in Barcelona and Samsung has traditionally help their Unpacked events on the day before the big show.

Whatever processor Samsung chooses for the Galaxy S III, it’s still pretty cool to know it could be produced in my home state.

Via: Austin Statesman

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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    gee made in america and then released here 9 months after it releases over seas.. SMH

    • R.S

      Maybe but even with the delayed release, the Galaxy S Il is still one of the top phones.

      • BiGMERF

        and your assuming that Samsung can dominate the way it did last year? I think other companies will continue to catch up quickly

        • redraider133

          Well samsung is the highest rated manufacturer in the US, not to mention Samsung seems to build off the success of the previous years model and I am sure this will be the same thing.

          • pHyR3

            you think Samsung will not do well in 2012?? hahaha funny one, Samsung will dominate like they have in Q3 and 4 as Android shoots upwards. It is the most sought after Android brand based on recent surveys by a long shot after the big splash it made with the S2.

    • Jeff Pan

      They releases SII with a high end processor compared to the one available outside US.

      The same might happen with SIII -> July release + a Fall release in US :(

  • Hue Three of Five

    Now if Samsung could work on making decent radio hardware they would be all set

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I don’t think Samsung will ever integrate the baseband into their SoCs like Qualcomm does and NVIDIA is planning. They will just focus on the application processor and work with the latest baseband processor that is available.

      • mkrmec

        Maybe they don’t have the all the right patents to include it. Easier to buy it.

        • WlfHart

          Sad but possibly true…

  • ericl5112

    I’m not anticipating a 5250 in the SIII. Maybe it will debut in a Galaxy Note 2 at IFA? :D

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Yep that or the Galaxy Tab 13.1 :P

  • spazby


  • cthonctic

    Delicious. Can’t wait for the first truly substantial Galaxy S3 leaks!

    • ericl5112

      Won’t have to wait long. It will literally be in the hands of bloggers by Feb 28/March 1st.

  • damambt

    cant say that im surprised. great things are always coming out of texas (#1). but i must agree, SGSIII will be phenomenal. get your sh*t together Motorola.

  • Nathan D.

    Can’t wait for MWC this year!

  • cb2000a

    Please delete that last picture…we know where you live. I am surprised they let you take your camera in there at all.

  • http://theinternet-allofit.blogspot.com Jorge Branco

    So excited to get a new contract in June. Perfect timing much?

  • honourbound68

    a smaller chip? how could this be? everything is bigger in Texas ;)

  • kaptanjack

    will samsung use exynos 5450 in galaxy s3? or not use it this year?

  • http://www.ndroidgamers.com B2L

    Exynos 4412 should be a beast! I’m definitely excited to see what Samsung has in line for 2012.

  • lux

    ok so am i the only one who sees that Apple has sued samsung over and over for various reasons but samsung is producing their a5 chip? wtf? really…are you serious? Hey! We are going to sue your company but will another division make our chip for us?

    • Simon

      Called business

  • h0ruza

    The GSII is for me the king of the Android world (apart from the us TMO version) and this plant may enable them to get the GSIII out in the states at the same time as the rest of the world.

    Imagine the units they would have shifted last year with a worldwide release? Something tell s me they intend to make that happen.

    Please let it be 1280 super amoled plus edge to edge screen, ncf, a day and a half battery life and no buttons.

  • Stuart Brown

    Here come the A15′s and quad cores, no doubt with ics hardware accell, A15 with java HA. I want ics on my kindle fire dual core, Athlon II X4, Galaxy S, Asus will shortly bring out a $250 quad core tab. Try keeping up Apple, at even twice the price!!