Samsung unleashes unveils Exynos 5 Octa (5420), could use any combination of the eight CPU cores at a time.


exynos-5420Samsung recently teased its next generation Exynos SoC a few days ago. The South Korean giant has finally revealed their new Exynos 5 Octa processor dubbed as the Exynos 5420!

The fresh iteration of the Exynos family is based around the same ARM big.LITTE architecture. It packs a quartet of ARM Cortex-A15 cores bumped at 1.8GHz and four 1.3GHz Cortex-A7s ticking at 1.3GHz but the key difference  is the usage of an 6-core ARM Mali GPU (Mali-T628MP6) instead of the IT PowerVR SGX used in the previous implementation.

The changes brought by the ARM GPU includes General-Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units (GPGPU) to accelerate complex and computationally intensive algorithms or operations, with APIs such as OpenCL 1.1 & OpenGL ES 3.0 to enable the processing powered requires by high-end complex games.

Taehoon Kim, vice president of System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics said in a press note, “Demand for richer graphic experiences is growing rapidly nowadays. In order to meet that demand from both OEMs and end users, we developed this processor which enables superb graphical performance without compromising power consumption.”

Here are some of the key specs:

  • 4 ARM Cortex-A15 cores with clock speeds up to 1.8 GHz
  • 4 ARM Cortex-A7 cores with clock speeds up to 1.3 GHz
  • ARM Mali-T628 MP6 6-core graphics
  • 2 x 32-bit LPDDR3-1866 memory

On the processor core front, Exynos 5420 does indeed fully support “Global Task Scheduling” (GTS) with 8 independent cores (also known as big.LITTLE MP). The IKS (In-Kernel Switcher) is of course still the norm in the Linux kernel, but the mainline Linux kernel will be configurable to use IKS and GTS soon when Exynos 5420 will hit the production as there is already a reference implementation on Linaro codebases.