Nvidia Tegra 4 vs Samsung Exynos: Rumor Roundup

by: Ankit BanerjeeApril 9, 2012

exynos 4412 vs tegra 4

When the Nvidia Tegra 3 platform was first announced, with its four (plus one) Cortex-A9 cores, it was unquestionably, the best SoC on the horizon. Since then, we’ve seen competitors such as Qualcomm pushing the limits of dual-core processors, as seen with benchmark comparisons of Tegra 3 vs Snapdragon S4.

But slowly, the once highly-acclaimed Tegra 3 processor begins to lose its luster. Adding to the problems for Nvidia, Samsung will likely use its Exynos quad-core processor (expected to be clocked at 1.8Ghz) paired with 2GB RAM, to power the most awaited Android device of the year, the Samsung Galaxy S3.

So it might already be time for Nvidia to look towards the future. And it seems that’s exactly what the Santa Clara-based giant is doing, if a leak reported by VR-Zone is to be believed. Based on this leak and on the other rumors, here’s a brief summary of what we know about the two upcoming powerhouses, the Nvidia Tegra 4 and the Samsung Exynos 4412.

Nvidia Tegra 4

If the above “leak” is trustworthy, and I’m not entirely sure it is, it seems that Nvidia is preparing to unleash its quad-core processors featuring ARM Cortex-A15 cores, clocked at 1.2 to 2.0 Ghz, and pegged to arrive as early as Q1 2013. This roadmap would be in line with remarks made by Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, that we should expect “a new Tegra every year.”

This move to Cortex-A15 cores is an overdue step in the right direction for Nvidia, with the A15 cores (used in Qualcomm’s Krait designs that put the Tegra 3 to shame in benchmarks) being far superior to the A9 design found at the core of the Tegra 3 chip.

Samsung: Exynos 4412 and Exynos 5250

With the Exynos 4412 already clocking a rumored 1.8 Ghz, Nvidia’s efforts to beef up the upcoming Tegra 4 chips might be (again, if the leaks and rumors are true) a case of too little too late.

The Exynos 4412, as presented at MWC, will be clocking an expected 1.5 Ghz, which would translate to 35-50% better performance compared to Samsung’s previous chips, without compromising battery life. Moreover, rumors have surfaced that Samsung will be using an Exynos 4412 processor in the Samsung Galaxy S3, clocked at no less than 1.8Ghz, making it the most powerful Android phone to arrive to the market this season.

LTE compatibility

Current quad-core processors don’t integrate LTE radio, forcing manufacturers to look for workarounds, as exemplified by the utilization of dual-core Snapdragon S4 processors for the US versions of the HTC One X (featuring Tegra 3 in the global version). With every major carrier moving to 4G LTE networks, it might be a while until US consumers get their hands on some quad-core delight. From the above “leak”, it looks like Nvidia is addressing this concern with the SP3X processor, which has in-built LTE capability (probably courtesy of radio tech from Icera, acquired by Nvidia a while ago). But with an expected (if the information is accurate) Q3 2013 release date, Nvidia’s LTE-enabled SoCs are a very long time away.

There is no information on whether Samsung’s future Exynos designs will have LTE radio functionality built-in, but if it does, and it’s a big if, it could be a game-changer for Samsung in the US market.


Processor technology is evolving at a furious pace, with chips getting smaller and pushing out more power with every design iteration. It’s too early to come up with definitive analyses on which company will come on top in the “processor wars” but it will be very interesting to see how this all plays out.

  • Dadwd


  • Trinder_s

    The Wayne project… 4+1 A15 cores…
    must see category in tablets…

  • Amine Elouakil

    The Exynos were never known for the High clock speeds or their overclocking abilities due to Samsung process and architecture : you can hardly get the exynos over 1,5ghz while the Qualcomm couterpart exceed 2ghz qu’en pushed, so a 1,8ghz Exynos doesn’t make sens at all especially in a smartphone form factor at best the SGSIII will have a 1,5 GHz and that knowing that again Samsung will use a 32nm process compared to the 28nm on krait and tegra4.

    As for Exynos 4412 being the fastest SoC this season, that I call just fanboyism, the 4412 wont come close to the S4 in It Quadcore variant not to to mention that the latter will be clocked higher than the Exynos as always with à release date just after the S3 , and the Tegra 4 will turn circles around the Exynos but that wont be released anytime soon.

    • french toast

      Cortex A9’s can hit 2.5ghz on 28nm…

      Samsung has got the most advanced process this generation, not only is it 32nm…butagon its ‘gate first’ (better) and its HKMG…(much better)..compared to the TSMC’s 28nm which has none of those benefits and is actually havinf serious problems at the moment.

      Exynos 4412 will be the best smartphone SOC for the majority of this year, it will crush tegra 3, dual core S4.and Snapdragon S4pro (quad) wont be released till the end of the year…if snapdragon S4 PRO was released with Adreno 320 and quad Krait..a the same time ..yes it would wipe the floor with Exynos 4412..but its coming at the end of the year, maybe wont see phones with it till 2013..

      • Amine Elouakil

        The only Quadcore 2.5Ghz CPU That was ever presented is the Qualcomm S4, Qualcomm CPUs always been the most overlockable in the market.

        “Samsung has the most advanced process this generation… ” feel free to prove it.

        You are wrong! One because Tegra 3 was released last year, and we are one Quarter away to see it replacement and secondly you need to know you fact better, the PRO with S4 means that SoC uses the Adreno 320! and it is available right now (Q2 2012) check Qualcomm website. As for the Quadcore variant APQ8064 and MPQ8064 already being tested in different product one of them is IdeaTV K91 which will be released soon, with Qualcomm S5 comming out by the end of 2012 begining of 2013. (MSM8974)

        So no the 4412 will not wipe anything, it might have an advantage in the graphics area but that’s again is to be seen because we don’t know what’s coming out with the 4412 as GPU.

        • french toast

          Here is a quad core 28nm Cortex A9 @2.5ghz…presented by ARM

          I don’t have to prove it, not including intel in this as they don’t manufacture for others…TSMC=28nm non HKMG (untill end of year) Global foundry and Samsung are part of the alliance with IBM to manufacture the ‘gate first’ HKMG 32nm…..so far with TSMC’s dodgy 28nm that surely will be the best process till the end of the year..(Hence why Nvidia is also having issues with Kepler)

          Are you just making stuff up? Tegra 4 (Wayne) IS NOT coming in 1 quater.no chance..its coming Q4 or 2013..look at the roadmaps.
          Where are these S4 PRO products then?? like i said WE wont see them in devices till years end earliest. again they are manufactured on TSMC’s 28nm….may be a reason.

          Well depends on which Exynos will launch in the GS3..rumours have it may be 5250 after all…never the less a quad Exynos 4412 @1.6-1.8 would destroy a S4 dual core…
          The GPU IS known..its a higher clocked Mali mp400.

          Tegra 3 has nothing to do with it.

          • Amine Elouakil

            And? what’s your point with the 28nm Cortex A9 @ 2,5ghz?

            Are you serious? a Mustand is better than a Ferrari and I don’t need to prove it. no seriously.

            Making up stuff? Products with Tegra 4 will be introced in CES as always been the case, with The chip being released to OEMs way before to make those devices.

            Where the S4 Pro Product then? you think it take a week to built a product? now are you trying to derail from the availibility of the SoC to product? (as stated before) the SoC is already available and the devices products are already in test, I’m sure the Pro version is also more expensive than the normal version and with a higher power consumption so I doubt the performance is worth the price, right now as the normal version offers enough performance. Expect product with S4 pro version released in Q3 not the end of this year! and you’ll see tons of these at the W8 release.

            The S3 will launch with the 4412 it doesn’t make sens to make produce two products at the same time especially if they have almost the same performance, especially with the 4412 alredy introduced in the Meizu MX Quadcore. and NO the 4412 will have at best a frequency of 1,5 Ghz, Exynos always been bad at OC.
            As for the GPU do you know how many cores? are you sure it isn’t the T610?

          • french toast

            You said that no 2.5 ghz quad core A9 had been ‘presented’only Krait…thats why i posted a link to prove you wrong.
            Mustand? i think you mean Mustang, anyway TSMC’s 28nm process is having issues, it is also non HKMG and is also a sustandard ‘gate last’ approach.
            Samsungs 32nm HKMG ‘gate first’ approach is based of an already proven alliance with IBM/GLOFOUNDRY..so it will be the best.

            The S4 is already here now competing with Tegra 3?? why are you mentioning S3?? you also Mentioned S5 for some bizzare reason..that is complete vaporware, no one has even heard of that.

            You mentioned the S4 PRO in reference to it being out now..as thats what we are talking about no? it wont be yet..maybe Q3 but maybe Q4 as i have said TSMC is having issues with 28nm…hense why Nvidia Kepler is delayed somewhat.

            The Exynos can likely clock to way higher than 1.5ghz you nana….if Tegra on 40nm can clock to 1.5ghz..than why can’t Exynos on the best process??
            The gpu on Exunos 4412 is a Mali 400 MP4 @400-440mhz…we know this because it was seen testing at GL benchmark at that speed.

            T610?? i think you mean T-604, that is a next generation product that will be available on the next generation Exynos 5250…Mali T-658 will be on the Exynos 5450.

          • french toast

            >”You are wrong! One because Tegra 3 was released last year, and we are one Quarter away to see it replacement””Making up stuff? Products with Tegra 4 will be introced in CES as always been the case, with The chip being released to OEMs way before to make those devices”<

            Those are two conflicting statements, CES in January 2013…so how can we be 'one quater away' from its replacement if you also say we wont see it till 3 quaters away?? you contradicting your self!.

            If we don't see the Exynos 5250 in the GS3, then the Exynos 4412 will be the best smatphone superchip this generation to ship in volume.

          • Amine Elouakil

            Ok tell me when Transformer Prime was released.

            CES is in the begining of January, tons of product with Tegra 3 were introduced there as in 2011 where alot of Tegra 2 product were introduced like the Xoom or the Atrix.

            I’m not at all contradicting my self, like said before and several times, the Availability of the SoC is DIFFERENT than the availability of the product in comes in, the OEMs that will release their devices during CES, had the chip for a while designing a product doesn’t come in one day! .

            The Exynos 5250 will come at some point, we will see in a tablet later this year and maybe in the note replacement, but the SGS3 will have the 4412 most likely and I doub’t it, and it will not be the best smartphone ship that will goes hands down to the S4 Quadcore variant by miles, I doubt it to be even faster than the dualcore variant or the difference won’t be noticeable.

          • french toast

            The Cortex A15 is more powerfull than Krait..Krait should be better power consumption.

            Like i said when a S4 PRO turns up in a smartphone and starts shipping in volume of millions then we will see.

          • Amine Elouakil

            a Cortex A15 is slightly more powerfull than the Krait as shown in Anandtech architecture comparaison, but the thing is the Exynos 5250 is dual core where as the APQ8064 is a Quadcore.

            Core to core I agree with you tho.

          • jdmartinez81389

            Really?? You actually think a snapdragon is going to touch exynos? Yes maybe all phones with snap dragons can be overclocked higher but a phone with a snapdragon even overcloked still lags on sliding from left to right, look at the galaxy s2 with exynos it doesn’t lag ,

          • Amine Elouakil

            lol :
            lets teach some facts as it seems you don’t know your stuffs :
            The first Snapdragong aka MSM8250 or now S1 came out in 2009 it trashed any SoC that was coming from Samsung at the time, they were not even close!

            In 2010 Samsung released the Exynos3110 aka Hummingbird, Qualcomm released the MSM8255 aka S2 which smashed the Exynos.

            In 2011 Qualcomm released the MSM8660 Aka S3 Samsung released the Exynos 4210 and this is the only case where you the perfomance can be argues, and performance wise they are equal, check the comparaison between the variants of the SGSII in the US, the one that uses the S3 and the others that uses the Exynos 4210
            But anyway
            since then Qualcomm released the S4 aka MSM8960 at the end of 2011/begining of 2012 it smashs the Exynos 4210 and leave it in the dust and this is dual core vs dual core.

            So tell me how can you assume the Exynos is faster than Qualcomm CPU, where as each time
            your beloved Exynos are beaten?

            Seriously It starts to get annoying to hear some Samsung fanboys claims recently, know your facts.

          • Amine Elouakil

            Yes I said that the Krait Quadcore is the only CPU that was ever presented with 2,5Ghz and I remain with my point, I’m sure you know the difference between presented as in a working device, and a number in some planned chart right? but still I don’t see the point of this because If you are implying that I said that a cortex A9 will never reach high frequancies then you are wrong! I said Samsung Exynos does not cope with high frequencies which is quite different.

            When I wrotte S3 I meant the Samsung Galaxy S3, I don’t think that any Qualcomm SoC will be released with an Exynos 4412 don’t you agree? and Yes I also mentioned S5 which is comming out in Q1 2013 and the reference is MSM8974 my comment is clear enough, As we knew a year before that the MSM8960 was comming out.

            “…..So it will be the best”, you are still making your own assumptions and from there getting to your own conclusion if you don’t have facts keep it at that.

            The S4 Pro is out, I’m not the one saying it, it is Qualcomm that is saying it in their own website; http://www.qualcomm.eu/products/snapdragon , and when I’m talking about the S4 Pro of course I’m talking about the SoC as we’ve been talking about in all this conversation.

            “The Exynos can likely clock to way higher than 1.5ghz you nana….if Tegra on 40nm can clock to 1.5ghz..than why can’t Exynos on the best process??”
            I laughed, Ok you say Samsung does have the best process, yet all Exynos does not clock high :
            The 3110 aka Hummingbird barely cope with 1,4Ghz the absolute record was 1,6Ghz unstable usage, and just for comparaison the Qualcomm MSM8255 OC to 2Ghz and being stable.
            The 4210 in the galaxy SII hits it limite at 1,5Ghz-1,6Ghz and becomes so instable, and as a comparaison again the MSM8260 exceeds 2Ghz while still being usable.
            And YOU ARE WRONG, it is not about the process finess but the process it self, sure a smaller process allow a better heat desipation in theory there is more to it, and the best exemple to prove that is how the old Pentium IV in some variation came out with a 3,8 Ghz frequency compared to nowdays cpus that barelly reach those frenquecies stock! and we are talking about 40nm Vs 32nm we are talking about 90nm (Prescott 2M) Vs 22nm (Ivy bridge)

            You know I meant T-604 and in the begining Mustang, those are typos, I could have pointed out the Mali MP400 you wrotte in your post earlier but I didn’t.

          • french toast

            You don’t understand, 32nm HKMG ‘gate first’ is wayy more advanced than plain 28nm..PLUS the 28nm node is having poor yields..that means it isn’t working properly as it is not mature, i will leave it at that.

            I seem to be getting lost as you change the view point, anyway,you said that Tegra 4 will be here in the next quater..so SUMMER 2012..then you said it will be released/shown/what ever at CES…well that isnt the next quater is it?? thats 3 quaters away, Tegra 3 was shown LAST CES, not 2012, it was released into tablet in November 2011.
            The point is Tegra 4 wont be here very soon.

            You DO realise Exynos 4210 is on 45nm right? and 4412 is on that advanced process right? and i have already shwn you evedence that A9 can hit 2.5ghz?? so its not really hard for them to be hitting 1.8ghz is it??

            Overclocking SOC from 2 years ago has no bearing at all, so i dont understand why you refer to it?

            My ORIGINAL point about 4412 to be the best SMARTPHONE of 2012 to ship in volume stands true…Qualcomm S4pro only exists on paper, has not been announced for only one solid producy..which IS NOT A SMARTPHONE, S4PRO will arrive Q3 earliest..probably later which means even if they did manage to fit it into a smartphone, IT WOULD NO BE SHIPPING IN VOLUME, so either way my point stands..

            Tegra 4 wonteven be announced till 2013.so that is out…the ONLY SOC that will be out that could beat Exynos 4412 will be 5250..which is a slim possibility, OMAP 5 and others wont be here till 2013.

            So back to what i was saying..Exynos will be the best Android SMARTPHONE SOC of this generation to ship in volume.

            Qualcomm will not be bringing out S5 just a few months after S4 PRO will they???

          • Amine Elouakil

            You tell me I don’t understand, yet from the beginning you coudn’t prove what you are saying all this time along! seriously! I don’t see which part you don’t understand about this.

            And ? the Qualcomm S1 Cpu is on 65nm heck Pentium IV have clocks of over 3ghz on a 180nm process.

            I don’t change my point view it is clear, I said and I can quote my self Tegra 4 will be ready by the end of next Quarter, and will be tested by OEMs with the first product hitting the market by the end of the year (like the transformer prime but less likely) but for sure in CES. BUT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE CHIP NOT THE DEVICES, SoC are out months before devices!, if it wasn’t for the Transformer Prime you would be telling me that Tegra 3 just got released with the One X.

            As for frequencies that latest show specs prove my point! 1.4Ghz Quadcore SoC, I think that enough said.

            I’m sure you know what I mean when talking about overclocking. Exynos DONT cope with overclocking unlike other SoCs.

            How do you know it will be the best SoC? it have a Mali 400 as a GPU and an standard Cortex A9 architecture as Tegra 3. while being clocked at 1.4-1.5Ghz. You have already an evidence? Like I said before is there a concept of a working Cortex A9 Quadcore running at 2.5 Ghz? especially a Samsung one? heck Cortex A15 are set to have a Standard 2.5Ghz on tablet yet Samsung will be using it at 2Ghz from the information we have right now.

            Lets Assume devices with Tegra 4 will be coming in 2013 which I might agree on (as if we see devices in 2012 it will be one or two like the Transformer prime) But what about the Krait Quadcore? or Huawei SoC k3v2? or the NovaThor from ST Ericson or the Omap 5?

            You say Qualcomm will not bring the S5 just few months after the S4 pro? the S4 pro in it self is not a new architecure, the S4 was presented in 2011 in the developer platform so no expect to see an S5 developers platform around the end of 2012 with a production in Q1 2013 as the S4 was presented in 2012 a full year later.

          • Wazza

            Dont be silly. The 4412 is still based on A9. The S4 is based on the new A15 which is 40% faster according to ARM.

            The S4 will blow it away.

        • french toast

          Qualcomm S5!??

    • Dave


  • vampyren

    Dual core 1.2 as i GSII is more then enough for a phone, lets focus on battery life i would say. This whole quadcore race is just ridiculous in my opinion.
    Sure for tablet where there are more pixels to be drawn i can agree a better GPU is needed (as in the new iPad) but for CPU bahhh

    • Jassari96

      Quad core uses less battery = battery saving

      And better graphics and faster and somther divece

      • vampyren

        Not if the applications uses the 4 cores which i know 99.9% dont do today.
        Also i dont think even last gen GPU’s are used fully. The ratio GPU’s are changed nowdays dont give developers to really take advantage the GPU’s full potential. Look at consoles, they have a life cycle of 5 plus years. Phones have like 6 month or so. See where i’m going with that?

        • Ben

          You’re a prat, look today 7 months later and tell me your thinking is super outdates. Thank fuck we don’t have people like you in charge of the industry or we’d be stuck using obsolete hardware. Troll off back to your cave.

          • Ben

            super outdated*

          • vampyren

            You obviously dont understand what your babbling about. Just think how iphone with a dual core could be smoother and “faster” then a quad. That is what software optimization is about. Thats a major simplification of course but never the less one scenario. Same with games. Its thanks to brats like you that people dont appreciate the hardware nowdays. AS soon as its released people like you start asking for the next version. No time to enjoy what is. I love new kick ass hardware but dont like the idea that my device should be outdated before fully taken advantage of. That is the problem with people as well as companies today. It’s more about quantity then quality.

  • french toast

    Christ…can the auther PLEASE correct the nonsense in this article….Qualcomm makes it own Processors…you even mention it KRAIT..that was after you called it something else..Cortex A15….they are completely different processors, and have nothing to do with each other other than ARM ISA….can you fix this please?

    • Ankit

      sorry about that, I will correct it right away. What I meant to say was qualcomm’s Krait cores are more a competition for the cortex-A15 and not the cortex A9.

      • french toast

        Hey thanks, no worries easy done ;)

        • Christ…can the foreign dried bread product that serves as breakfast PLEASE not be such a dick when making mention of errors to the author of an article who probably spent way more time researching and compiling the info than the loud-mouthed commenter did complaining about it in an unprofessional and rather childish manner?

          • french toast

            Steady on there Lancelot. weren’t you at the top of the charts in the 80’s?? let me remember now..? oh yea ”karma karma karma kielion! she comes and goes, she come and gooeeesss!” ha ha ;p

          • dylan

            you realize the song is saying Chameleon right, as in able to blend in to the background, that where the rest comes from i.e “she comes and goes”. When trying to insult people, try to get the insult at least a little bit coherent as you’re attempted put down failed due to lack of knowing the correct words, Seriously, where did you get “karma karma karma kielion”, you sound stupid trying to insult someone with that, why not just call them cumsickle or something original like that.

  • From my reading, I’m pretty certain the 4412 has the ARM Cortex A9 cores still. We don’t get the A15s until we go to to the 5250 and above. Still, the Mali 604 GPU looks to be pretty slick.

    • french toast

      Yea they are A9’s..but 4412 also contains no T-604..sorry ;(

  • by readin it now, Amine Elouakil is nothing but moron.
    Snapdragon S1 blew away any AP? at that time TOP smartphone was Iphone and AP was made by samsung foundry.

    S2 was delayed for freaking long time (TSMC had trouble with 45nm process for long time, go ask how long Nvidia and ATI waited for their top products after they announced it) S3 and S2 hit the market almost same time. so hummingbird was not the competitor it was galaxy SII.

    lets see, Hummingbird was first cortex A8 architech AP and also first 45nm process in mobile AP. Hummingbird blew away snapdragon thats the fact, not the other around. (main reason y galaxy S became popular, not only cpu is better, GPU was 2x better than other competitors cuz it used same GPU as iphone)

    then galaxy SII (Exynos 4212), i dont need to explain. snapdragon S3 is just inferior. (single channel memory+half of L2 cache, not alone its not full cortex A9)
    galaxy note has 2 versions, LTE version with snapdragon and 3G version with exynos.. snapdragon version is more laggy.

    and now Exynos 4412 and snapdragon S4. TSMC had trouble with HKMG so they put 28nm chip on market withotu it (28LP).
    benchmarks shows Exynos 4412 is better on most benchmarks even at slower clock. also battery efficiency is better.
    this is cuz of HKMG. (developed by IBM tech alliance and samsung’s one of em. IBM+GF+Samsung+STM)

    main reason Y manufacturers use snapdragon was due to LTE onechip in SOC since battery life became one of major concern for smartphones since screen size got larger.
    AP and LTE seperate chips are horrible on battery life, galaxy nexus is perfect example.

    • Jon1123

      Your stupid. The iphone did not use the same gpu as the galaxy s.