Earlier this morning Samsung announced that its new top of the line processor, the Exynos 5 Octa, is scheduled to begin mass production in the second quarter of this year.
Considering that carriers are reportedly aiming for a late April release for the Galaxy S4, it’s now clear why Samsung decided to use two different SoCs for the US and International variations. Supply of the Exynos 5 Octa chips is clearly going to be limited for the first few months, so picking the next best processor, the Snapdragon 600, to fill the void makes perfect business sense.
The Exynos 5 Octa will be manufactured using Samsung’s latest 28-nanometer HKMG (High-k Metal Gate) process, as we expected. This process will see the chip save on power efficiency, compared with larger die sizes, thanks to reduced static leakage. 28nm also means that Samsung can produce more chips on the same amount of silicon, so hopefully there won’t be a shortage of supply.
The post also confirms some the finer features of Samsung’s new SoC, including support for full HD 60fps video recording and play-back, a 13 mega-pixel 30fps image signal processor, a USB 3.0 interface, and support for WQXGA 2560×1600 resolution displays.
As well as for use in the Galaxy S4, moving into mass production as early as Q2 this year opens the door for a host of smartphones and tablets using the Exynos 5 Octa to launch later on in the year. I’m betting on an octo-core Exynos 5 tablet at some point this year to improve on the dual core Exynos 5 used in the Nexus 10.