CES 2013: Samsung unveils 8-core Exynos 5 Octa processor

By Chloe Albanesius | Published on 10 Jan 2013
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Samsung has unveiled a new 8-core mobile processor for high-end smartphones and tablets.

CES 2013: Samsung unveils 8-core Exynos 5 Octa processor

Samsung today took the wraps off an 8-core processor known as the Exynos 5 Octa.

Stephen Woo, president of Samsung's System LSI business, said during a keynote address here at CES 2013 that the Exynos 5 Octa will offer a "level of pure processing power never before seen in a mobile device."

That will enable "heavy-duty multi-tasking" on a mobile gadget, Woo said. A device running the new processor would be able to look up a good dinner spot, while simultaneously downloading an app to make a reservation and retrieving GPS and mapping information - "all without lag or disruption," Woo said.

An Exynos 5 Octa-powered device will also "easily" handle HD movie streaming with "no dropped frames [and] razor-sharp picture quality," he continued.

It was designed with high-end smartphones and tablets in mind. "The bottom line is, when you want multiple applications to perform at their best, you want the best processor available," Woo argued.

The processor takes advantage of ARM's big.LITTLE technology, which pairs the small, energy-efficient ARM Cortex-A7 chip with a larger, more powerful Cortex A-15 multicore chip. ARM announced Big.Little in Oct. 2011 and said at the time that OEMs, OS vendors, and application vendors will select which processor to use for certain tasks, turning each on and off to meet the power and performance needs of each function.

Woo invited Warren East, CEO of ARM, to join him onstage, who said that it "can't rely on incremental improvements" to chipsets going forward in order to keep up with the rapid evolution of mobile. "We must look for new ways to accelerate processors."

One approach is the Big.LITTLE concept, of course, which East said "provides roughly two times the performance with half the power consumption."

Woo said something like mapping data would be handled by the "little" processor, while graphic-intensive gaming would switch over to the "big" guys.

Samsung unveiled the Exynos 5250 System-on-a-Chip in late 2011, and took the wraps off the Exynos 4 Quad chip in April 2012, which has powered its latest Galaxy device.

Also at yesterday's CES keynote, meanwhile, Samsung showed off a flexible display prototype that would let users bend their smartphone screens back and forth.

Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc

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