Tag Archives: A6

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa SoC Uses PowerVR GPU Instead Of ARM’s Mali GPU

One of the highlights of this year CES was the announcement of an Octa-Core mobile SoC from Samsung – the Exynos 5 Octa. This absolute beast of an SoC makes use of ARM’s big.LITTLE implementation and packs 4 Cortex-A15 based cores, and 4 lower-power Cortex-A7 based cores, manufactured on the 28nm HKMG process.

The use of ARM’s big.LITTLE technology will allow this SoC to provide the best of both worlds – performance and battery life. On the GPU side, it was assumed that Samsung went with ARM’s Mali GPU, which was found inside the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy S III.

However, it looks like Samsung may have had a change of heart and has instead used PowerVR’s Imagination GPU on its latest SoC. AnandTech has confirmed from multiple sources that the Exynos 5 Octa SoC packs in three cores of PowerVR SGX543 GPU, with each core clocked at 533MHz.

This is the same GPU that Apple uses in its A5 and A5X SoC, with the latter being found inside the third generation iPad. Considering the PowerVR SGX543 inside the Exynos 5 Octa SoC is clocked so high, it should be able to beat the 3rd generation iPad in benchmarks. However, it won’t be able to surpass the performance of the A6/X SoC found inside the iPhone 5 and the fourth-generation iPad.

There is a very strong possibility that Samsung will end up using the Exynos 5 Octa SoC on its upcoming Galaxy S IV smartphone.

Apple A6 SoC – Not A15, But Much More Efficient Than Competing SoCs

When Apple announced the iPhone 5, the company mentioned that the device had a 2x faster processor without providing anymore information on the SoC. Apple’s claims led many to believe that the iPhone 5 is going to be the first handset in the market to sport a Cortex-A15 based SoC.

Sadly, as the folks at AnandTech found out, the iPhone 5 does not sport an A15 based SoC. Instead, it sports a custom dual-core hybrid Cortex-A9 and A15 CPU from Apple.

Apple going the custom core way for the A6 SoC shows how much the Cupertino giant is dedicated towards the iOS ecosystem. By making its own custom core, Apple can further tighten the iOS experience, which will ultimately benefit the end users.

So, how does the A6 SoC stack against the quad-core Exynos SoC inside the Galaxy S3 and other competing SoCs?

A Geek Bench 2 result of the A6 SoC shows that Apple has only clocked the CPU at 1GHz, which is fairly conservative for a 32nm based SoC. The new iPhone 5 scores 1601 in GeekBench 2, while the International Galaxy S3 scores 1781. Even though the Exynos SoC inside the SGS3 managed to beat the iPhone 5, the A6 SoC inside the iPhone 5 is clearly much more powerful. The A6 SoC has two less cores, and is clocked at a fairly conservative 1.02GHz and yet manages to come very near to the Galaxy S3 in GeekBench 2.

Apart from the Exynos SoC, the A6 inside the iPhone 5 is easily able to beat all other SoCs found in other Android devices including the Nexus 7 (Tegra 3), and the HTC One X (Qualcomm S4 Krait).

The A6 SoC also has phenomenal memory performance, which has generally been a weak point of ARM based CPUs. The SoC is also rumored to sport a PowerVR SGX543MP3 GPU clocked at higher speeds than found on the iPhone 4S. Head over to AnandTech for an excellent analysis of the Geek Bench 2 results.

Apple Unveils The iPhone 5 – 7.6mm thin, 4-inch screen and A6 SoC

Apple has just announced the much-anticipated iPhone 5, and surprisingly the rumor mill has been pretty accurate. The iPhone 5 sports the same design as the iPhone 4 and the 4S, but is made entirely out of aluminum and glass. It is also 20% lighter at 112 grams and 18% thinner with a 7.6mm waistline.

The screen on the iPhone 5 is, as predicted by the rumor mill, 4-inches in size with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen resolution has also been bumped up to 1136×640 so as to keep the Retina display (326PPI) tag intact. Apple has also updated all of its apps to take advantage of the increased resolution, along with adding a fifth row of icons to the home screen. The Cupertino based company has also updated all of its apps to take advantage of the increased resolution.

The touch sensor has been integrated right into the display, allowing Apple not only to make the iPhone thinner, but also the most accurate touchscreen device on the planet.

On the connectivity side, Apple has added HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and as expected…LTE! There is only a single chip and radio inside the iPhone 5 that handles both voice calls and data, simultaneously. The handset will be available on tons of LTE capable networks worldwide, and on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint in the United States, and Rogers, Telus and Bell in Canada. The new Broadcom BC4334 chip inside the iPhone 5 makes sure there is support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks.

Internally, the new A6 SoC powers the iPhone 5. Not only is it 22% smaller than A5, it is also two times faster. The A6 SoC consists of a dual-core Cortex-A15 SoC and an unnamed GPU, which according to Apple is 2x times faster than the GPU on the A5. Thanks to a bigger battery and the 32nm fab based A6 SoC, the new iPhone is capable of lasting 8 hours on LTE browsing with a standby time of 225 hours.

The iPhone 5 sports an enhanced 8MP camera with a dynamic low light mode, sapphire crystal (whatever that means), precision lens alignment, a next-generation ISP, Hybrid IR filter, Smart filter and more. The “most amazing feature in the iPhone 5″, however, is the Panorama mode. The device is capable of clicking panorama images in full 8MP mode with the final panorama image being up to 28MP in resolution. The face detection and video stabilization features have also been enhanced in the iPhone 5. The front-facing FaceTime camera also got a much-needed upgrade to 720p resolution.

Apple has also emphasized on the phone part of the iPhone 5. The new iPhone packs in three microphones (bottom, front and back) for excellent noise cancellation, a noise-cancelling earpiece, wideband audio, and an improved speaker design that is 20% smaller.

The dock connector has also been replaced with a new, thinner and smaller variant, now known as Lighting. It is 80% smaller, has 8-signal design, is reversible and is completely digital. For owners of older generation iPhone and iPads, Apple will also be selling a converter.

As always, the 16GB iPhone 5 will cost $199 on two-year contract, with a $100 bump each for the 32GB and 64GB variants. The pre-order starts on September 14th, while the shipping will begin on September 21st. The handset will be available in more countries on September 28th, and by the end of December 2012, will be available in more than 100 countries and 240 carriers.

Image Credit – The Verge