Samsung Officially Confirms Exynos 4 Quad For Next Generation Galaxy – Mentions Easy Upgrading For Current Dual-Core Devices


There’s been some confusion on exactly which version of the Exynos — either dual, or quad-core — would be featured inside Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S III flagship. This was after an Antutu benchmark showed the results of the Galaxy S III running on a dual-core variant and not the quad. Well, you can now rest assured that Samsung is going big for “the next Galaxy,” throwing their quad-core 32nm Exynos based off ARM’s Cortex A9 architecture, inside each and every GS3.

What’s interesting is Samsung also mentions that this new Exynos 4 Quad is “pin-to-pin” compatible with devices using their older dual-core Exynos. This means manufacturers could easily upgrade current devices, without any added cost. An upgraded Samsung Galaxy Note with this new quad-core processor immediately springs to mind (I just got goosebumps). You can read all the details on Samsung’s Exynos 4 Quad in the press release below.

Samsung’s New Quad-Core Application Processor Drives Advanced Feature Sets in Smartphones and Tablets

Designed on 32nm HKMG process, new energy-efficient chip exceeds 1.4GHz per core

SEOUL, Korea–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced the industry’s first quad-core application processor built on the High-k Metal Gate (HKMG) low-power process technology. With unprecedented performance capabilities exceeding 1.4GHz based on the ARM® CORTEXTM A9 quad-core, the powerful, yet energy-efficient Exynos 4 Quad, allows system-level architects to integrate maximized power efficiencies into smartphones and tablets which enables double the processing power at a 20 percent lower power bill over its predecessor, the 45nm process-based Exynos 4 Dual.

“The quad-core processor offers phenomenal multitasking abilities surpassing any single or dual application processor. Since all the cores must share a single battery, the power management and efficiency in the limited battery capacity are indispensable for mobile computing devices,” said Taehoon Kim, vice president of System LSI marketing, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics. “Given the diverse functionalities consumers are demanding from their mobile devices today, the Exynos 4 Quad meets those high-performance needs while keeping power consumption very low.”

Multi-core processing delivers enhanced performance, enabling users to accomplish more tasks in a shorter period of time. For example, a task such as streaming video can run on one core while the other cores update applications in the background, connecting to the web and scanning virus-check simultaneously.

Benefitting from a use case where the parallel processing and workload sharing among the four cores is necessary, the Exynos 4 Quad is particularly well-suited for heavy-load applications such as 3D games, video editing, and calculation-intensive simulation.

Due to its 32nm HKMG low-power process and power-saving design, the Exynos 4 Quad has two times the processing capability over the 45nm process based Exynos 4 Dual while consuming 20-percent less power. To improve power efficiency, Samsung adopted hot-plug functionality to support on-off switching for each core as well as the per-core dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), which offers a dramatic reduction in power consumption by adapting different levels of voltage and frequency when changing workloads.

Having identical form factor measurements (12mm X 12mm X 1.37 mm), the Exynos 4 Quad is pin-to-pin compatible with the 32nm process based Exynos 4 Dual, allowing mobile device designers to immediately adopt the new solution without additional cost, engineering or design efforts.

In addition, the new processor incorporates a full HD 30 frame per second video hardware codec engine for high resolution 1080p video recording and play-back, an embedded image signal processor interface for high-quality camera functionality and an HDMI 1.4 interface for sharp and crisp multimedia content transmission.

Samsung developed a power management IC (PMIC), the S5M8767, as a companion chip to power the Exynos 4 Quad processor. By integrating various circuitry such as nine highly efficient and programmable buck converters and 28 low-dropout regulators (LDOs) into the small package of 5.0 mm x 5.0mm x 0.4mm, the S5M8767 is designed to scale up or down the dynamic voltage depending on the clock speed in 6.25mV step for managing power delivery and maximizing battery life at the system level.

Already in production, the Exynos 4 Quad is scheduled to be adopted first into Samsung’s next Galaxy smartphone that will officially be announced in May. Samsung’s Exynos 4 Quad is also sampling to other major handset makers.

“The application processor is a crucial element in providing our customers with a PC-like experience on mobile devices. Samsung’s next Galaxy device, which will be officially announced soon, offers uncompromised performance and ground breaking multi-tasking features, thanks to Exynos 4 Quad’s powerful performance and efficient energy management technology,” said Hankil Yoon, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy Team, Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business.

Last year, Samsung introduced a new online hub dedicated to its Exynos processor. Designed to facilitate easy communication with industry partners and end users, the new micro-site takes you a step closer to the ultimate experience Exynos delivers; product information, user experience and information on promotion events. More information can be found at http://www.samsung.com/exynos.

[Samsung | Via Engadget]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. awesome!!!! now let’s see the device already!! no more waiting game!!! i will purchase this phone no matter what!!!

  2. I hope this processor supports tmobile’s HSPA+ bands so I can import this bad boy!

  3. ….unless you are in the US, then you only get dual core to support LTE. And if you are on Verizon, you get nothing!

    1. The LTE could be part of the SoC. 

  4. A9! Oh well. HTC One X it is.  The beat the prime but so did the X.

    1. 4412 will still end up better than both the S4 and the Tegra 3… So I’m not sure I follow

      1. prooooof!!! and minimal leads don’t matter, if its only 5-10% better there isn’t much point as drivers can make just as much difference at that point

  5. Big question, will this processor work with LTE versions of US phones? I really, really, really hope so.

    1. That, is the million dollar question. Those on T-Mobile/AT&T shouldn’t be too worried, as HSPA+ is more than adequate. 

      1. True, but will it be compatible with T-Mobiles HSPA+ 42?

        1. I’m REALLY hoping Samsung was smart enough to consider their US customers this time around.

          Sucked having “lesser” processors in their otherwise great Galaxy lineup. =/

    2. Please make it to Verizon!!!

    3. the big question is how stupid doe Samsung think we are to think that a chip set will make a phone more energy efficient. maybe start with not having a supper amoled screen. that would help dramatically. if theys phone mfg keep fing up a good thing with crap i’ll be getting an iphone (and thats saying alot comming from a hardcore android phane)

  6. Oh SHIZNIT ! Sammy Got Game

  7. So CHRIS, is this my new phone?

    1. I hate recommending devices based on specs alone but………… yeah. This thing is going to be beast. Lol 

      1. I know what you mean. I am staying with my Gnex because those spec aren’t exponentially better than it.

        1. Yeah, I’ll be able to stick with the G-Nex for a long while. I mean, it’s not like it’s slow by any means.. 

  8. Show us the phone Sammy

  9. So I can send my E4GT and they’ll throw a Quad-Core in it? Is that what I’m reading?

  10. am i alone in thinking this is a red herring?  
    Why in the world would Samsung work so hard to keep the phone specs a secret, only to announce its processor a week before the unveiling???

    I guess it’s just me grasping for any possible chance that they could surprise us all and go with the exynos 5250….

    Samsung’s own website says that the 5250 is scheduled for mass production in Q2 of 2012 (last line):

    Anybody else still foolishly hoping for a US variant with a 5250 like I am???

    1. Would be nice. But not going to happen. Might see the 5250 in some of their tablets though :)

    2.  I was hoping for that also. I remember the press release when they first announce the 5250. I’m kind of disappointed its not but I know Samsung isn’t going to disappoint with the 4 Quad.

    3. Going from a Captivate to a GSII, chip performance was THE top priority for me a year ago.  While a good phone at the time, the Captivate’s lag was something that hindered everything I did with the device.  With no lag in the GSII, there is little to be gained in faster and more powerful.  The focus on energy efficiency is, however, in line with what I am looking for in my next phone’s processor.

  11. My PhoneBone comment was deleted?  really? c’mon guys.. the internet is for porn!  This is just Phone-porn!

  12. So does this mean I could obtain a quad core chip and install it in my att galaxy s2 (i777)?

    1. Sorry, not possible.

      1. they say in the post that the quad-core version is pin to pin compatible with current dual-core exynos models, the i777 would fit that category. I would imagine you have to run a custom rom. what is impossible about this

        1. Have you ever tried to unsolder surface mount packages with pins spaced at these dimensions and this sort of package geometry??

          I promise, you will badly burn the motherboard, at the very minimum.

          1. What if we had really tiny hands…..? O_o

    2.  LOL.. yes they should make an app for that! LOL jk.. or buy the chip and install it on a phone like desktop pc’s

      i think in the near future that will happen..

    3.  No, the SoCs are baked into the PCB and can’t be switched like Desktop CPUs.
      What this says is, that if you – as a manufacturer – have a custom Phone that uses the old Exynos dual core, you don’t need to design another PCB but can order the new Exynos chips and use them instead.

  13. Here’s the bug question. Will Google be smart to release it to all 4 carriers rather than have one exclusive?

    1. That’s not in google’s hands.

    2. Im pretty sure the carriers decide which devices they decide pick up and not the phone manufacturer.

  14. Expected a 1.5ghz dual core running on A15 with Mali 600. Instead it’s a quad core based of A9 with over clocked mali 400. While this is still beastly, not near beastly enough to make me think about canceling my S4 One X pre-order. :) 

  15. Still no mention of a sd slot…hummm getting scared here…a big phone with no sd slot makes no sense…it’s nonsense…ilol.

  16. Cap fap…fap istill don’t see the logic in that word…anyhey…Sammy ain’t messing around with this phone it seems…should be 4.9inch ithink however…

  17. Seems like this is going to be pretty awesome but I think I’m just going to stick with my Verizon gnex until the A15 based processors start coming out, the gnex isn’t slow and it had all the bells and whistles otherwise.

  18. Put this in the Gnote and I’m all in :)

  19. I am genuinely not trolling here, but what is the point of quad-core in a phone? I hear about potential battery savings but I just don’t buy it. My old Nexus One had about the same battery life of my (since broken) Atrix, and the Atrix had a larger battery and a more efficient 40nm build. I’d love to see this processor in a netbook or nettop though.

    1. my main reason for upgrading was “32 GB” of space, better screen, and a new brand. it just happens to have a quad in it.

    2. For one, this CPU does have more efficient 32nm tech. The phones should be capable of doing more things that require the 4 cores. Id like to see more multi tasking options through a better UI

  20. Honestly I’m a little dissapointed. I knew the 2ghz quad core A-15 seemed a little out of reach since they are not quite ready, but 1.4ghz A-9? And I have to say I have more faith then it still being the Mali-400 gpu. I would say their 2ghz A-15 dual core seems more promising

  21. Did somebody say Mali 400 GPU? I’ll take that Evo 4G LTE now, thanks.

    1. Overclocked Mali-400MP, which according to AnTuTu benchmarks are superior to Tegra 3. 

      Its really weird that Nvidia, a gpu company, releases such weak GPUs in phones. 

  22. A simple illustration or would be the Galaxy S3? http://tudoandroid.tumblr.com/post/21840899221/uma-mera-ilustracao-ou-seria-o-galaxy-s3

  23. Why couldn’t the G-Nex have gotten an exynos instead of the OMAP

    1. Most likely because the Verizon version was LTE and Exynos is incompatible with LTE. I doubt Google wanted to fragment the Gnex with different SoC.

  24. I second and third the concerns about the gpu and network comparability. The press release says the processing power is doubled but does this mean per core per clock cycle because of the 32 nm process? By extension does it mean that the gpu has double the power of a similarly clocked Mali 400 at 40 nm? If so, overclocking could lead to an impressive performance boost. If not then it’s just sort of meh… I want next Gen for the gaming potential not for overall processing power

  25. This better come to Verizon

  26. Really waiting for 22nm technology. Really not too damned concerned about this CPU. 32nm is old tech….move on already

  27. This or HTC One X?

  28. Dumb question, but would it be possible to upgrade a SGS2 Epic 4G Touch? Lol

  29. This probably will come to Verizon. With a Qualcomm S4 chip set. I’m hoping the T-Mobile version sticks with the quad core.

  30. wondering how much an upgrade for the note would cost, if one buys just the motherboard with this chip on, plus use the rest of the samsung galaxy note internals. if it is possible on a decent budget, getting rid of the lag and better apps2sd move capabilities than the crap apps2sd capability that is on the note at present. wish phone shops could do such an upgrade

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