Now that we have reasonably fast dual-core and quad-core processors powering our mobile devices, attention is starting to shift to the GPU to drive gaming and advanced graphics technology. Enter Samsung's Exynos 5420, the newest addition to the company's Exynos 5 Octa family of eight-core processors, though that bit needs a little bit of explaining before we dive into the GPU side.
Though Samsung markets the Exynos 5 Octa family as being eight-core processors, they're broken up into two quad-core segments using ARM's big.LITTLE architecture. In this particular case, what you have are four ARM Cortex A15 cores clocked at 1.8GHz and four Cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.3GHz. You never have access to all four cores at once, and instead tap into the faster A15 cores during heavy workloads, and the slower A7 cores for less intensive tasks. It's a battery saving measure that gives you a boost in performance when you need it.
That said, the real story here is the six-core ARM Mali T628 GPU processor. According to Samsung, this is the GPU's first appearance, the upside being that it boasts 3D graphic processing capabilities over two times that of the previous generation Exynos 5 Octa processor.
"Demand for richer graphic experiences is growing rapidly nowadays," said Taehoon Kim, vice president of System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics. "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."
Outside of raw graphics performance, the Exynos 5420 boasts memory bandwidth of 14.9GB/s paired with a dual-channel LPDDR3 at 933MHz, delivering support for Full HD Wi-Fi displays.
The new chip is currently sampling to customers and will go into mass production in August. With any luck, we could see new mobile devices built around the Exynos 5420 by the end of the year.