AMD repack­ages its chips

Sam­sung’s Exynos chip isn’t just a side project any­more, re­veals Agam Shah

PC Advisor - - CONTENTS -

Sam­sung has ac­knowl­edged that it did not en­gage de­vice mak­ers enough about its pro­ces­sor strat­egy, and that it’s had a only a few third-party Exynos suc­cesses

In a room cor­doned off from the Mo­bile World Congress au­di­ence, Sam­sung showed off un­teth­ered head­sets that op­er­ate in­de­pen­dently of smart­phones. Th­ese pro­to­type de­vices were mainly meant to show off the pro­cess­ing power of its new Exynos chips. The firm al­ready of­fers teth­ered Gear VR mod­els, but now wants out­side com­pa­nies to use its lat­est Exynos 9 pro­ces­sor in un­teth­ered de­vices and smart­phones of their own.

Exynos chips have been more of an in­ter­nal project for Sam­sung, and been used in the com­pany’s Gal­axy phones. Just a hand­ful of third-party phone mak­ers, like Meizu, have used the chips in their hand­sets.

But the Korean firm fi­nally seems to be re­al­is­ing that it has a great prod­uct with Exynos 9, a pow­er­ful chip that can drive a new gen­er­a­tion of smart­phones and VR head­sets. The com­pany is also look­ing to push its other Exynos pro­ces­sors to au­to­mo­biles, ro­bots, wear­ables, and if there’s an opportunity, Chrome­books.

Sam­sung has re­branded the Exynos line-up so it is eas­ily mar­ketable and un­der­stand­able for cus­tomers. The chips are now be­ing bro­ken down into Exynos 9, 7, 5 and 3 brands. The Exynos 9 will be tar­geted at high-end de­vices and VR head­sets, while the 3 will be aimed at low-end phones.

The new chip is the 8895 and will likely go into the lat­est Sam­sung Gal­axy S8 hand­set, which could be launched by the end of April. But it’s also an es­pe­cially pow­er­ful chip for VR head­sets. The chip has eight cores – four cus­tom and four Cor­tex-A53 – that give it tremen­dous horse­power. It has ARM’s Mali G71 GPUs with 20 cores, which will de­liver pow­er­ful graphics.

The pro­ces­sor can han­dle 4K play­back and record­ing at 120 frames per sec­ond (fps). The chip also has a vision pro­cess­ing unit for VR, and can han­dle mo­tion de­tec­tion and track head move­ment.

Ad­di­tion­ally, it has a new through­put mech­a­nism for easy data trans­fers be­tween the CPU and GPU. The Exynos 8895 also sup­ports LPDDR4 mem­ory, and has an in­te­grated gi­ga­bit mo­dem.

Sam­sung will com­pete against com­pa­nies such as Qual­comm and Me­di­aTek, which were high­light­ing their own chips at MWC. Sony’s Xpe­ria XZ smart­phone was the first an­nounced with Qual­comm’s Snap­dragon 835, which also has a gi­ga­bit mo­dem. Me­di­aTek an­nounced the 10-core chip, the He­lio X30, which will be avail­able in smart­phones some­time next month.

On pa­per, the Exynos 8895 is as good as the Snap­dragon 835, and bet­ter than Me­di­aTek’s He­lio X30. The Exynos adds some much-needed com­pe­ti­tion to the smart­phone chip mar­ket, which Qual­comm dom­i­nated.

Sam­sung has ac­knowl­edged that it did not en­gage de­vice mak­ers enough about its pro­ces­sor strat­egy, and that it’s had a only a few third-party Exynos suc­cesses, such as in Audi car in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems. It will take a while to ex­pand its cus­tomer base, but over time com­pa­nies will start trust­ing Sam­sung, ex­plained Ben Hur, vice pres­i­dent of Sam­sung LSI mar­ket­ing.

The lack of knowl­edge so far about the Exynos chips has hurt the com­pany. Ver­i­zon has been vis­i­bly back­ing ri­val Qual­comm, whose chips are used in the Gal­axy S7 mod­els for the US mar­kets. Also, Sam­sung’s chips don’t sup­port CDMA, but cel­lu­lar tech­nolo­gies like GSM, which are widely used in Asia and Europe. Sam­sung will add CDMA sup­port to its chips soon, Hur added.

Sam­sung GearVR head­set

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.