CES 2014 is just around the corner and tech companies are putting their marketing engines into full gear. This latest piece comes from Samsung, who is telling a whole lot of nothing about its next Exynos chip aside from an announcement date.
Samsung has been making its own ARM-based system-on-chip (SoC) since 2010, employing the processors on its top end Galaxy S and Galaxy Note devices. Of late, the Exynos chip has earned the distinction for having one of the few, if not the first, mass-marketed eight-core processors for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. While Samsung will most likely still be playing around with the relatively new octa-core architecture, it is still unknown what direction this next generation Exynos chip will take.
The next Exynos processor might simply be a follow up to the current Exynos 5 Octa generation but with a very important addition. Last September, Samsung announced that its Exynos 5 Octa 5420 processors has just gained Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) capabilities, allowing the use of any combination of the 4 low-power and 4 high-performance cores. While this chip already ships with the Galaxy Note 3, the capability is disabled via software due to thermal issues. The new Exynos chip might very well be simply a variant of this with HMP working in full force. The video below, one of three shown last September, demonstrates how HMP works when using an app such as QuickOffice.
The other possibilities revolve around a newer Exynos 6 processor, still with eight-cores but also with HMP enabled from the get go. One could also imagine that Exynos 6 might have that somewhat controversial 64-bit support as well. Samsung has already practically admitted that it trekking that path, though it might just be too early to say that it is ready to ship out a finished product. But given the pressure that Apple's own 64-bit processor is putting on chip makers, it would not be surprising if Samsung ends up trying to rush things out.
Whatever direction Samsung will take the Exynos, it is expected to appear in the upcoming Galaxy S5 that is set to be unveiled next month as well. Those interested in hearing about Samsung's next SoC product will have to mark their calendars for the January 7 announcement at CES 2014.