Soon after Qualcomm revealed its Snapdragon 820 processor, Samsung has introduced its competitor as the Exynos 8 Octa 8890 system-on-chip (SoC). The company says it plans to begin mass production in late 2015.
The new premium processor has been built on 14nm FinFET fabrication process and features Samsung’s first custom-designed CPU based on 64-bit ARMv8 architecture. The South Korean company claims that its new processor provides up to 30 percent improvement in performance and up to 10 percent in power efficiency compared to the previous generation Exynos 7 Octa. The new octa-core processor comes with four custom cores and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, which Samsung says can deliver the “highest performance and power efficiency in its class.”
The company also stresses that the Exynos 8 Octa is its first integrated one-chip solution in its lineup that combines the application processor and modem. The Exynos 8 Octa comes with an LTE Rel.12 Cat.12/13 modem that allows maximum download speeds of up to 600Mbps (Cat.12) and upload speeds of up to 150Mbps (Cat.13) with carrier aggregation. For graphics, the new Exynos 8 Octa packs ARM’s latest GPU, Mali-T880. Unfortunately, Samsung has not detailed the maximum clock speed.
Looking at the manufacturing timeline, Samsung is most likely to feature the new Exynos SoC in its next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S7, expected to launch in Q1 2016. A recent report claimed thatSamsung was working on Snapdragon 820 heating issues with the hope to use the processor in at least some markets at launch, and use its own Exynos chip for other regions. Qualcomm has since refuted the overheating reports on multiple occasions. We will have to wait till Samsung debuts its next flagship smartphone for confirmation. With other OEMs (such as Meizu) also using Samsung’s Exynos 7 Octa 7420 in their smartphones, the precedent has been set for the Exynos and Snapdragon lineup to compete not just for the South Korean firm’s devices.
Announcing the new chipset, Dr. Kyushik Hong, Vice President of System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics, said, “The Exynos 8 Octa is a leading-edge application processor for next-generation mobile devices that incorporates Samsung’s mobile technology leadership in CPU, ISP, and modem as well as process technology. With our custom designed CPU cores and the industry’s most advanced LTE modem, consumers using mobile devices with the Exynos 8 Octa will experience a new level of mobile computing.”