Back in November, Samsung announced its next generation Exynos 5250 SoC based on ARM’s Cortex-A15 architecture. Samsung confirmed today during its earnings call that the Exynos 5250 has begun sampling and should hit mass production in Q2 2012

Just to recap, the Exynos 5250 is a 32nm dual-core Cortex-A15 SoC running at 2.0 Ghz. Memory bandwidth is a staggering 12.8 GB/s and allows it to drive up to WQXGA (2560x1600) resolution displays. As we reported back in November, compute performance should easily be twice that of the 1.5Ghz dual-core Cortex-A9-based Exynos 4210 and graphics performance is expected to be a four-fold improvement. 

However, not much is known about the GPU at this moment; but if the Exynos 4210 was anything to go by, we could see ARM's Mali T-604 based on their new Midgard architecture handling the pixel pushing duties. The Exynos 4210 packed a Mali-400 MP4 GPU, while its predescessor, Hummingbird, used a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. Samsung does have licenses to other GPU designs from ARM and Imagination Technologies, so at this point, the GPU in the Exynos 5250 could be anybody's guess.

The next generation SoC race is definitely heating up with silicon from major players such as Qualcomm (Snapdragon S4 "Krait") and Texas Instruments (OMAP 5) all expected to ramp up production soon, with devices expected in Q3/Q4 2012. Of course, what Apple could be doing with its A6 chip is entirely another story.

Source: GSMArena

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  • twimberly - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    The GPU in the Exynos 5250 is the Mali-T604. Samsung System LSI told me this when I met with them at CES earlier this month.
  • Saumitra - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    Ah, it makes sense continuing using the Mali GPUs I guess. ;)
  • twimberly - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    Only downside is Samsung will not implement ARM's Cache Coherent Interconnect that is available on the Mali-T604. It should still be blazing fast though.
  • Guspaz - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    How does the performance of the Mali-T604 compare to other GPUs? The Mali-400 MP was a very pleasant surprise, not as fast as the SGX543MP2, but still far faster than I think anybody expected out of ARM's first mainstream SoC GPU (I don't think the Mali-100 or Mali-200 ever saw widespread adoption?), and a respectable performer.

    It looks like the T-604 is still limited to four cores like the 400 was (and the Exynos 4200 series used all four), so I wonder if it will end up in a similar position to the series 6 PowerVR chips as the 400 did in relation to the series 5 chips.
  • Lucian Armasu - Thursday, February 2, 2012 - link

    Series 6 PowerVR is not supposed to be out until early 2013, right? Then we'll see the T-658 or even better compete with it by then.
  • SydneyBlue120d - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    Very interesting news! Do you think we may bet on T658 GPU for the Quad Core version (28nm?) of this SOC? If the Galaxy SIII will be Quad A9, I think the next iterartion, AKA Galaxy SIV too will be quad core.. What do You think? Thanks :)
  • twimberly - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    Yes I think you will see T658 from Samsung in 2013. They are very closely aligned with ARM and will keep using their latest designs. Samsung also says they will produce a big.Little SoC by end of 2012, so maybe that design could have T658.
  • hammerd2 - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    Really - they told you the GPU core ? That means you're the one person outside Samsungand the GPU core vendor that knows this news right ? That's incredible. What gives you the sort of access to information no-one else in the tech world knows (or at least is not under strict NDA not to talk about it) ?
  • dagamer34 - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    What products are we likely to see this in? I'm guessing their next high end Android tablet with a high DPI screen is a given, but Windows tablets? Android smartphones?
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    At first, we will see tablets based on this SoC. Once Samsung gets more familiar with the new architecture (and possibly process node?), bringing the heat and power consumption down a bit, we will see smaller devices such as smartphones using this SoC. Windows tablets are definitely a possibility but it's hard to say until we have anything concrete.

    Just my speculation, of course :-)

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