Samsung has just pulled the wraps off its next-gen high-end chipset. The Exynos 8 Octa 8890 (quite a mouthful, we reckon it’ll go by Exynos 8890 once it hits the streets) was unveiled in Seoul, and has a few firsts to show off.
Manufactured on a 14nm FinFET process like the Exynos 7420 before it, the new chip marks Samsung’s entry into custom-built cores. The big.LITTLE arrangement in the 8890 features a quad-core array of those in-house Mongoose 64-bit ARMv8 cores as the performance cluster, while more mundane tasks will be handled by another four Cortex-A53 cores.
Promising a 30% performance increase, the new chip benefits from what’s dubbed Samsung Coherent Interconnect (SCI) technology, for better interaction between the two separate clusters. That won’t adversely affect battery life, on the contrary – the chip is said to be 10% more power efficient. And before you jump to conclusions, that doesn’t straight up mean 10% increase in battery life of a phone as whole.
Another first for Samsung is the integrated modem, which supports Cat. 12/13 LTE with carrier aggregation for download speeds up to 600Mbps.
Much like Huawei’s recently announced Kirin 950 chipset, the Exynos 8890 features a Mali-T880 GPU, but as with all of ARM’s graphics processors, the secret is in the number of cores (the x in MPx, which follows the GPU model number). Samsung uses the Mali-T880MP12 with a total of a whopping twelve cores, as opposed to Huawei’s MP4.
The new chip supports display resolutions up to 4K UHD (4,096 x 2,160px) or WQUXGA (3,840×2,400px), and that may be a hint of what to expect in future flagships. Or not, as the existing Exynos 7420 has support for such displays, but we haven’t seen a device with one just yet.
So far these are the sketchy outlines, provided by Samsung – details such as clock frequencies remain to be revealed. The big question is when we’ll see the chip in an actual device and a safe bet would be the Galaxy S7 some time in the beginning of next year.