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Samsung’s Need for Speed: Galaxy S5 May Match iPhone 5s’ Raw Performance



It’s speculated that Samsung will choose the Consumer Electronics Show in early January to announce two new processors that will appear in the company’s upcoming flagship phones and tablets to take on Apple’s best. The company is now believed to be announcing an Exynos 6 processor along with a beefier Exynos S CPU, the latter would be used on Samsung’s premium devices.

It’s still unclear what Samsung’s plans are at this point, but a teaser tweet from the Exynos division says that “#CES2014 is right around the corner,” while asking users “Are you ready to #UnlockExynos?”

Unlike the current Exynos octa-core CPUs found on Samsung’s international variants of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3, the Exynos 6 would feature a true octa-core architecture allowing all 8 cylinders to fire at the same time. On the current Exynos 5 model, only four of the eight cores are activated at any given time, depending on how resource-intensive the task is, and this follow’s ARM Holdings’ big.LITTLE architecture.

samsung-exynos-processor-logoAdditionally, a new Exynos S may bolster performance even further. This chipset will be a 64-bit chip similar to what Apple had debuted on the Apple A7 processor on the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina Display. The use of a 64-bit architecture will allow Samsung‘s power-hungry device to use more RAM, which could mean that we could potentially see a Galaxy Note device debut with 4 GB RAM, or what a basic Windows 8 system ships with today.

This will bring desktop-class computing to mobile devices, and it will be interesting to see how Samsung builds software to make use of the extra performance that the hardware will bring. The company already implements a plethora of ways for users to multitask and simultaneously multitask on the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3, so Samsung will likely push the boundaries even further.

According to a report on Sam Mobile, the performance of the 64-bit octa-core Exynos S will mean that Samsung could achieve performance gains of 1.43 times what is capable of on devices running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800. This means that the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 could potentially be 1.5 times faster than the U.S. variant of the Galaxy Note 3, which ships with 3 GB of RAM and a quad-core 32-bit Snapdragon 800 chip.

With this type of performance gains, perhaps Android tablets will start looking like a computing experience of Windows where we have cascading windows for true multitasking for all apps.

Interestingly, though Sam Mobile is also reporting that the Exynos 5 variant used on the international version of the Galaxy Note 3 supports the heterogenous multi-processing capabilities, but lack the software on it. This means that the Exynos 5 CPU could potentially be upgraded to true octa-core capabilities to run on all 8 cores at the same time, rather than today’s four-core at a time in the big.LITTLE design. The hardware of the Exynos octa architecture on the Galaxy S4 is missing the HMP support, so it cannot be upgraded in the same vein that the Note 3.

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