Samsung betting on big.LITTLE concept next year?

EETimes reports that Samsung is using ARM’s big.LITTLE concept to work on an 8-core processor. And the suspense might be revealed soon, as early as the International Solid-State Circuits Conference on February 19th, 2013.

By Vishal Mathur | Published 21 Nov 2012 13:01 IST
Samsung betting on big.LITTLE concept next year?
Samsung betting on big.LITTLE concept next year?

There are rumors that Samsung will bring out the Galaxy S IV next year with a quad-core Cortex A15 chipset. However, it looks like Samsung is working on something a lot more interesting. EETimes reports that Samsung is using ARM’s big.LITTLE concept to work on an 8-core processor. And the suspense might be revealed soon, as early as the International Solid-State Circuits Conference on February 19, 2013.

The idea clearly seems to be working on evolving the "phantom core" idea first introduced by Nvidia with the Tegra 3. Simply put, the Tegra 3 is a quad-core chip, with a 5th companion core that is used for low-level processes, helping improve battery life. The 8-core chip Samsung is working on is expected to be a combination of a quad-core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A15 cluster for the high-level tasks, along with a quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 chip for low-level tasks, acting as something like the Tegra 3’s Phantom Core.

But the biggest difference comes with the manufacturing process in ARM’s offering. The SoC will be using ARM's big.LITTLE concept, meaning that it’ll be built with a 28 nanometer manufacturing process, making the 1.8GHz cluster tuned for sheer performance, while the 1.2GHz cluster will be optimized for battery life. This will get 2MB of cache as well.

It is unlikely that the Galaxy S IV will get this processor, but it is likely to end up in the Galaxy Note III. We are rather interested in knowing the direction this project takes, and hopefully will end up in a tablet sooner rather than later.

Source: EETimes

Vishal Mathur
Vishal Mathur

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samsung big.little 8-core arm nvidia tegra 3 quad-core samsung galaxy iv galaxy iv
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