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Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs calls Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa a PR stunt

Qualcomm's CEO told the Chinese media that Samsung's new smartphone chip is just a public relations stunt and that it can't compete with their Snapdragons. Does he have a point?
January 17, 2013

Qualcomm’s CEO, Paul Jacobs, is in China right now talking to the media. Last week he was in America, specifically Las Vegas, to announce the company’s two newest processors: the Snapdragon 600 and the Snapdragon 800. Samsung was also in Las Vegas, and they too decided to show off a new chip, the Exynos 5 Octa. As the name suggests, it has eights cores. According to what Paul is telling the press, Samsung’s chip is nothing more than a publicity stunt. Is he right?

Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Octa does indeed have eight cores, but not all of them run at the same time. If you’re doing something intensive, like downloading a complicated web page, then four powerful ARM Cortex A15 cores light up and get things done. But if you’re doing something like checking your email, the chip turns off those advanced A15 cores and switches on four power saving A7 cores. It’s like a hybrid car. It uses one power source to get you to the supermarket, but another power source altogether so you can see your parents in the suburbs.

But to answer the question, is Paul right? We honestly can’t say because we’ve yet to test any devices that have either Samsung’s new chip or Qualcomm’s new chips. Until that happens, everything Paul says is just hot air.

And another thing, Samsung sells the most Android phones, right?Do you know what kind of chips they put in their high end devices? Samsung chips, of course.

When exactly are we going to be able to tell if the Exynos 5 Octa is just a PR move? Assuming the Galaxy S4 gets announced in April or May, then by the end of June we should see plenty of data that will either support Paul’s claim or make him blush because he made a mistake.

By that time the news cycle will have long forgotten this spat.