In our Galaxy S 2 review we highlighted an extremely unique aspect of Samsung's latest: its Exynos 4210 SoC. The 4210 features two ARM Cortex A9 cores running at 1.2GHz and an ARM Mali-400 MP4 GPU. The A9 implementation is equal to that of TI's and a bit better than NVIDIA's Tegra 2 (MPE + dual-channel memory controller), and the Mali-400 MP4 is the fastest GPU we've benchmarked in a smartphone. The SoC is built on Samsung's own 45nm process.

Today Samsung announced a 32nm addition to the family: the Exynos 4212. CPU clocks jump up to 1.5GHz, while GPU clocks are unknown. Samsung claims GPU performance improves by up to 50% "over the previous processor generation" but that is a bit too ambiguous for me to extract anything real from. The move to 32nm could have simply enabled a 50% increase in GPU clock speed.

Samsung's 32nm process uses high-K + metal gate transistors, similar to a transition Intel made at 45nm. According to Samsung, these new transistors allow for either a > 40% increase in performance at the same leakage or a 10x reduction in leakage current at the same speed. Density also improves by 2x enabling even more complex chip designs (more cores, bigger GPUs, more integration) or smaller die with the same feature set (eventually improving supply and profit). 

Specific to the Exynos 4212, Samsung is claiming a 30% reduction in power compared to its predecessor (presumably the 45nm LP Exynos 4210?).

Exynos 4212 will be sampling in Q4. I'd expect to see it in handsets sometime in 2012.

Source: Samsung

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  • lifeblood - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    I hope they're not using Global Foundries for 32nm. They may be waiting a while.
  • Aikouka - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Samsung manufactured Apple's SoCs for awhile and even manufactures their own NAND... I don't see why they couldn't handle their own SoC production (unless they're over production capacity of course).
  • LauRoman - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    I hope i'm not wrong, but i think a company of Sammy's size would have chip foundries, considering all the other crap that corporation manufactures in-house.
  • zeth006 - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    We know Samsung has a foundry, but the unresolved question is whether they're outsourcing the CPU.
  • Strk - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Apparently very few are aware that Samsung is the second largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world.
  • stanwood - Saturday, October 1, 2011 - link

    Samsung and Global Foundries co-develop their CMOS logic technologies in partnership with other companies at IBM's 300mm fabricator in East Fishkill, NY. The two companies have also promoted a Common Platform for manufacturing.

    I don't imagine that Samsung farms out much of their volume (they are one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers in the world) but in any case, the 32nm technology at these two companies should be closely related.
  • acx - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Samsung has their own foundries...
  • pookguy88 - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Everyone's saying this will be in the new/next Nexus phone.. slated for Q4 2011..
  • tipoo - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    That would be awesome. The current Exynos at 1.2GHz is already the fastest SoC in a smartphone, this would increase that lead considerably. Perfect candidate for the Nexus Prime.
  • 3DoubleD - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Everything I've read regarding the "Nexus Prime" is that it will have a 1.5 GHz Exynos SoC. If only the 32 nm version can reach 1.5 GHz, then we have our answer! However, if they are only sampling in Q4, then maybe it a new model number (4211?) that is more power hungry. The Nexus Prime apparently will have a 2000 mAh battery, which is gigantic by phone standards.

    Either way, I'm very excited for the Nexus Prime. I've barely paid attention to the SGS2's since they will look silly next to the Nexus Prime on Oct 11th.

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