Samsung Heats up the SoC Wars with its Exynos 8 Octa 8890
Samsung has officially unveiled Exynos 8 Octa 8890 processor on the heels of Snapdragon 820 which was released yesterday and Kirin 950 which was unveiled last week. The new Exynos 8890 will be the second premium processor from the Samsung stables to be built on the 14nm FinFET manufacturing process technology, the other being the Exynos 7420. The new processor comes with a built in one-chip solution that boasts of Samsung’s 64-bit ARMv8 based processor and the LTE Rel.12 Cat.12/13 modem.
Samsung claims that the new processor will bring in a drastic improvements in performance characteristics and will also be more efficient than its predecessor. The Exynos 8 Octa will be the first application processor to integrate the company’s CPU cores based on 64-bit ARMv8 architecture which will result in a 30 percent improvement in performance and 10 percent in power efficiency when compared with its predecessor the Exynos 7 Octa.
The Exynos 8 Octa is blended with the LTE Rel.12 Cat.12/13 modem which offers maximum download speeds of up to 600Mbps and upload speeds of 150Mbps. The graphics part will be handled by the Mali-T880.
Custom cores have been in vogue since Qualcomm recently reverted back to quad core design in order to incorporate the new Kyro CPU design. This move let Qualcomm use their own CPU cores instead of using ARM licensed Cortex A57 and A53. The custom CPU will adhere to a total in-house design that employs the same ARMv8-A instruction set similar to all the other mobile processor. The elementary reason for switching to an in-house core is that it allows Qualcomm to optimise the cores to a greater extent and make optimisation accordingly.
Samsung and Qualcomm are not the only one pulling the wrap from its processors, as Huawei is ready with their Kirin 950 processor and MediaTek with the Helio X20. While the major SoC manufacturers will stick with the 8-Core stack up in 2016, Qualcomm on the other hand is expected to move back to the quad core, MediaTek will still reign in number of cores with its ten core SoC. While Samsung leads the pack with its 14nm FinFET manufacturing process, other manufacturers are inching closer with similar processes, other option would be to commission the chip making to TSMCs which has a 16nm FinFET process at place.
The very fact that Samsung has gone all in-house with its Exynos processor will indirectly spell trouble for Qualcomm since Samsung had been one of its biggest takers when it came to high end premium SoC’s. The Samsung Galaxy S6 series was the first flagship from the company to stop offering the Qualcomm Snapdragon as an option and instead go all guns blazing with the Exynos 7. Now that Samsung is bundling in Modem and baking its own CPU cores its dependency on suppliers will decrease further.