Find: first arm a15 chip arrives - Samsung chip opens door to "Retina" Android tablets

New Samsung Cortex A15-based chip opens door to "Retina" Android tablets

The block diagram for Samsung's new Exynos 5 Dual SoC

Samsung has just released details about its new Exynos 5 5250 SoC for mobile devices. This dual-core, 1.7GHz chip is the first one on the market to feature the new Cortex A15 CPU architecture from ARM, which will provide substantially improved performance over the Cortex A9-based chips used in most of today's smartphones and tablets.

The chip also includes ARM's new Mali-T604 GPU designed to power Retina-class displays and support high-performance connectivity options like SATA and USB 3.0. These improvements make it a substantial upgrade over current-generation products like NVIDIA's Tegra 3 or Samsung's own Exynos 4. We'll look at different aspects of the chip to see not just how the Exynos 5 and other Cortex A15 SoCs will benefit current tablets, but also how those improvements could lead to more viable laptop replacements.

The CPU: ARM's Cortex A15

Most ARM processors in today's devices, including the NVIDIA Tegra 3 in the Nexus 7 tablet and all variations of the Apple A5 used in newer iPads and iPhones, use Cortex A9-based designs. The A9 excels in power usage, but is more limited when it comes to performance.