LONDON – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has announced that it is manufacturing a quad-core application processor for smartphones and tablet computers built on a 32-nm CMOS manufacturing process with high-k metal gate transistor stack.
The Exynos 4 quad, previously codenamed Aquila, is based on a quad-core Cortex-A9 quad-core processor from ARM Holdings plc but Samsung has not confirmed which GPU provides the graphics performance. The part was also the subject of an ISSCC paper presented in February 2012. The Exynos 4 quad-core chip is set to be used in Galaxy smartphones from Samsung and is also sampling to other handset makers, the company said.
The Exynos 4 includes an ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core processor. It operates at clock frequencies up to 1.4-GHz and provides double the processing power at a 20 percent less power than its predecessor, the 45-nm Exynos 4 Dual. The Exynos 4 has identical form factor measurements (12-mm by 12-mm by 1.37-mm) and is pin-to-pin compatible with the Exynos 4 dual-core, allowing mobile device designers to immediately adopt the new solution without additional cost, engineering or design efforts.
This indicates that the Exynos 4 includes a Mali quad-core T400 as its GPU as this is the GPU in the Exynos 4210 dual-core on 45-nm and the Exynos 4212 dual-core on 32-nm HKMG.
However, as Samsung is not explicit about the GPU, it is possible that the quad-core Exynos 4412 includes the Mali T604, the Mali T658 or that the company has switched back to Imagination as a source of GPU core.
The quad-core Exynos 4 quad core does include an improved codec that provides 30 frame per second 1080p video recording and playback, an embedded image signal processor interface for high-quality camera functionality and an HDMI 1.4 interface for sharp and crisp multimedia content transmission.
To improve power efficiency, Samsung has adopted on-off switching for each core as well as the per-core dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS).
Samsung has also developed the S5M8767 power management IC as a companion chip to power the Exynos 4 Quad processor. By integrating nine programmable voltage converters and 28 low-dropout regulators (LDOs) into the chip is designed to alter the applied voltage in 6.25-mV steps, depending on the clock frequency required.
"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 at Samsung's mobile communications business, in a statement.