Samsung Announces New Octa-Core Chip For Flagship Phones

By Victor Thomson , Feb 24, 2017 02:00 AM EST
Samsung announces its new LTE-Advanced modem integrated one chip solution, the octa-Core Exynos 8895. (Photo : TachTalk Review / YouTube)

Samsung announced on Thursday, Feb. 23, its latest octa-Core Exynos 9 8895 chip for flagship smartphones. The chip combines an ARM Mali-G71 GPU, eight CPU cores, and a Samsung-designed gigabit LTE modem.

Samsung's New Octa-Core Exynos 9 8895 Chip

According to AnandTech, the new Samsung chip is manufactured on the latest 10 nm process that allows for using up to 40 percent less power, while archiving a performance increase of up to 27 percent compared to its 14 nm process. In the last few years, the South Korean company has cemented its position as a market leader at the mobile phones high-end spectrum. The latest generation Samsung high-end ARM SoC, the Exynos 8895, is expected to be used for at least some SKUs of the next Galaxy S phone.

Ars Technica reported that the incorporated CPU uses four "little" cores and four "big" ones. The large cores are based on the Samsung M2, the company's "second-generation custom CPU core." The small cores are based on the go-to choice for low-power 64-bit cores, ARM's Cortex A53 CPU architecture.

The South Korean giant Samsung did not disclose much about the new octa-Core Exynos 9 8895 chip, aside from the fact that it was "designed from scratch" and it's a 64-bit ARMv8 core. What we do know is that in terms of GPU, this is a major update. There are already more details about it, as ARM detailed the Mali-G71 last year.

Exynos 9 8895's GPU Specs

Exynos 9 8895's GPU uses ARM's new Bifrost GPU architecture that fully supports OpenCL and OpenGL ES, as well as the Vulkan graphics API. However, what's more significant is its support for HSA. This allows the GPU and CPU to access at the same time the same data in system memory. Since that data won't need to be sent back and forth between separate pools of memory used by the GPU and CPU, this feature is eliminating a part of overhead.

In comparison to a standalone LTE model such as Qualcomm's upcoming X20, Samsung's Exynos is still about a year behind Qualcomm's technology. However, in comparison strictly to modems that are integrated into SoCs alongside the GPU and CPU cores, the Exynos 9 draws just about even with the X16 modem that is present in Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835.

Both chips promise theoretical LTE download speeds of up to 1Gbps, by using MIMO antennas, 5x carrier aggregation on the downlink and unlicensed spectrum. However, upload speeds are limited to 150Mbps, like both the X16 and X20. At this point, faster uploads speeds are offered only by Intel's XMM 7560 gigabit LTE modem, which adds an extra stream to boost speeds to 225Mbps.

From Exynos 9 8895 chip's spec sheet it appears that it supports up to 28 MP rear and front cameras. The new chip can also support both a 28 MP and 16 MP camera setup if you want to use a "dual camera" system. It supports H.265/HEVC and VP6 recording and playback and it can record 4K video at up to 120 FPS. Resolutions up to 3840x2400 and 4096x2160 are supported on 4K displays, as well as LPDDR4x memory.

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