Samsung announces quad-core chip for Galaxy S phone

Samsung hints at what's coming for Galaxy S3 phone with new quad-core chip.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read
Samsung's quad-core Exynos chip is headed to a new Galaxy smartphone.
Samsung's quad-core Exynos chip is headed to a new Galaxy smartphone. Samsung

Electronics heavyweight Samsung will put quad-core silicon in its next Galaxy smartphone, upping the ante for mobile performance.

The Exynos 4 Quad integrates four processor cores and is built on the company's cutting-edge 32-nanometer manufacturing process. The chip will run at speeds above 1.4GHz, the company said in a statement today.

As a yardstick, the third-generation iPad uses older 45-nanometer Samsung manufacturing tech and its central processing unit is dual-core (though the graphics processing unit is quad-core). And most multi-core smartphones and tablets on the market today are dual-core.

Samsung's new chip -- targeted at both tablets and smartphones -- will land initially in the next Galaxy smartphone. "Already in production, the Exynos 4 Quad is scheduled to be adopted first into Samsung's next Galaxy smartphone that will officially be announced in May," Samsung said in a statement.

Samsung's statement continued. "The...processor is a crucial element in providing our customers with a PC-like experience on mobile devices. Samsung's next Galaxy device, which will be officially announced soon, offers uncompromised performance and ground breaking multi-tasking features."

That next Galaxy phone would likely be the Galaxy S3.

Other Exynos 4 Quad highlights that presage Galaxy S3 features:

  • Full-speed video: uses HD 30 frame per second video hardware codec engine for 1080p video recording and play-back; also, includes an embedded image signal processor interface for a high-quality camera and an HDMI 1.4 interface.
  • Speed jump: Owing to its 32-nanometer tech, the Exynos 4 Quad has "two times the processing capability over the 45-[nanometer] process based Exynos 4 Dual while consuming 20-percent less power," Samsung said.
  • Ready to plug into new phones: Exynos 4 Quad is "pin-to-pin compatible" with the Exynos 4 Dual, allowing smartphone and tablet suppliers to adopt the new solution without additional engineering or design efforts.
  • Based on ARM Cortex A9 design: Based on the current Cortex A9 tech from ARM. The latest and greatest ARM tech is called Cortex A15 but those chips won't emerge as commercial products for a while yet.