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We review the trajectory of the Samsung Exynos, one family of SoCs most decorated and well known in recent years.
Samsung is known for their televisions, for their cameras, audio systems, for their appliances, for their tablets, for their laptops and, above all, for their smartphones. In all these niches, Asian company is a clear leader in recent years . But are not the only sectors that has become a big player .
One of these lesser known areas is the world of SoCs ( system- on-chip ), where the multinational carries well positioned in a good place for years. In fact, for a long time, Samsung was the unattainable for other companies in the sector as Qualcomm, Nvidia or MediaTek goal. Today, we review its history , especially focusing on the Exynos chipset family
The first Exynos. Samsung began generating their public image
After several years developing chipsets in the shadows (which were used even in the early iPhones), Asian company officially introduced in 2010 the first SoC of a new family of processors primarily aimed at smartphones and tablets. This is called Hummingbird, and was first used in the Samsung Galaxy S, the first flagship with Android South Korean company.
This SoC was initially called Hummingbird, even months Later it was renamed Exynos 3 single . In those days, Qualcomm and potentiated several Android smartphones with its Snapdragon processors, but none of the solutions reached in performance offered by Samsung . It was undoubtedly the best SoC for smartphones even-better time than the A4 Apple iPhone 4 -.
The Hummingbird is clearly became the best year SoC was manufactured in 45 nanometers and had a single-core CPU Cortex-A8 whose clock frequency ranging between 1 GHz and 1.2 GHz (depending on the variant). But really interesting was in the GPU , which was a PowerVR SGX540 200 MHz. A beast capable of overcoming the PowerVR SGX535 iPhone 4 and Qualcomm Adreno 200.
In 2011, history repeated itself. Samsung introduced the Exynos 4210 Exynos truth -the first a SoC that powered the famous and praised Samsung Galaxy S2 . This SoC was made of 45 nanometers, had a CPU dual-core Cortex-A9 (whose clock frequency ranging between 1.2 and 1.4 GHz) and a GPU Mali 400 MP4 to 260 MHz. This set exceeded significantly in performance Snapdragon Qualcomm the US company offered to rest at that time (as we saw in the HTC Sensation) and the Nvidia Tegra 2 (seen in terminals such as the LG Optimus 2X). Just a chipset was able to overtake that year, and that was the Apple A5, which substantially exceeded the Samsung solution especially in graphics -.
In the first half of 2012, ranking were not affected . Nvidia came with your Nvidia Tegra 3 (seen on the HTC One X); Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (seen in the HTC One S); Samsung and its Exynos 4412 (which was mounted on the Samsung Galaxy S3). But again, the solution had no rival Samsung. It was composed by a quad-core CPU Cortex-A9 1.6GHz and GPU Mali T604 MP4 to 533 MHz. Furthermore, the size was reduced to 32 nanometers, thus improving the energy efficiency of the SoC. None of the other SoCs was able to overcome it.
In 2012, Qualcomm and Apple started putting things very difficult for Exynos
However, in the second half of 2012, Samsung unattainable position began to threaten . Qualcomm introduced its first quad-core proposal, the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro : made in 28 nanometers, with a quad-core Krait CPU 1.5 GHz and a powerful GPU Adreno 320-400 MHz Snapdragon S4 Pro and equal to or exceeded in certain aspects to the solution of Samsung.. In addition, it offered a wider connectivity Exynos (access to 4G LTE networks, which began to expand at the time), which would become decisive.
Something similar happened with the Apple A6 SoC, which, despite its two cores (compared to the four other solutions), was able to outperform the Exnos 4412 of the Asian company Samsung. This was demonstrated by the different performance tests of the time.
2013 The sky grew darker for Exynos. Samsung failed to incorporate a quality LTE modem in their SoCs -all the solutions found sinned overheating and excessive energy consumption-, therefore, to accompany the great expansion suffered 4G LTE that year, the Asian company was forced to ride Qualcomm SoCs in most variants of its flagships , leaving its Exynos SoCs in the shade.
But the connectivity was not the only problem. Samsung also had to face the Qualcomm Snapdragon Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and 800 range, a family of SoCs really polished, powerful and efficient. Exynos 5, despite its superiority in the number of nuclei, were not able to achieve in performance to the above chipsets, so that the reasons for mounting an Exynos SoC were almost nonexistent.
These Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and 600 must add, obviously the Apple , the first SoC Apple with a processing unit 64 bits , becoming thus the first SoC for mobile support this architecture. Furthermore, it was a major leap in energy efficiency and power relative to A6, which finished placing the Apple solution above the Exynos (again). No doubt, 2013 was a disastrous year for Samsung.
In 2014, just hear about Exynos. Samsung bet filled by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Snapdragon 801 and 805 (for the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 , respectively), thus neglecting their own solutions for their higher-end devices. There were some variations of these with an Exynos SoC, but these were minor. In fact, in their official presentations were obviated.
However, a new range itself gave life to the Exynos in 2014: Samsung Galaxy Alpha. This smartphone entered the Exynos 5430 , 20 nanometer SoC with a GPU Mali-T628MP6, -first Exynos LTE modem with a modem LTE- and eight CPU cores between 1.8 and 1.3 GHz. In the practice, the SoC proved to size -more than many expected, in fact. Of course, compared to the most powerful solutions Qualcomm (Snapdragon 801 and especially 805 Snapdragon), this remained slightly behind performance in some tests . Nevertheless, it was a step in the right direction and, undoubtedly, a good feeling for the future.
In 2015, the Samsung Exynos could return to Battle grounds
Much is talking in recent weeks about the future of the Exynos. And is that it looks like it will be linked to future Samsung Galaxy S6 , the next big flagship of the Asian company.
According to recent rumors, Samsung solution would have despised Qualcomm (Snapdragon 810) for two reasons: overheating in certain frequencies of work and a worse performance than its own solution, the Exynos 7420 of 14 nanometers. Such rumors also are charging more accuracy as the days pass and more information will come to light. Information and statements confirming Qualcomm itself la loss of a large customer facing the first half of the year; or las LG statements admitting initial overheating problems with the Snapdragon 810.
All indications are that the Exynos 7420 will be within the Galaxy S6 In addition to this, various benchmarks filtered seem to confirm the superiority of Exynos 7420 SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 against. And is that Solution Samsung brings several new features underarm , as 14 nanometers, thus becoming the first chipset for mobile to reduce its size to that figure, something which imply an energy improvement and higher clock frequencies.
If we join all the pieces together with the desire for independence-now Samsung have solved its problems of connectivity with Exynos- not be surprising that the next flagships Samsung come with an chipset of this family under his arm. And finally being so, mean the definitive return to the ring Samsung Exynos family , a range of the best ranges of processors in recent years.
January 31, 2015
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