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HKMG: Low Power Meets High Performance

August 16, 2012

Samsung Semiconductor Exynos, hkmg low power meets high performance

Exynos mobile application processors (APs) are known for their excellent performance, but it’s their low power consumption that truly sets them apart from competitors. Using a carefully developed 32nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process, the Exynos team has produced some of the most powerful, yet power-efficient mobile processors on the market.

HKMG Low-Power Process
Almost any mobile application relying on batteries and tight power constraints needs a low-power solution in order to work well without draining battery life. To serve this need, Samsung qualified 32nm Low-Power (LP) High-K Metal Gate process technology in June 2010, making it the first HKMG product in the overall foundry industry. Jointly developed with IBM, this gate-first HKMG process reduces power leakage when compared to the SiON process used by many competitors.

Exynos started developing processors with this technology before other manufacturers, drastically decreasing power consumption so that equipped mobile devices could have a much longer battery life. By combining the HKMG process with gate-first technology, Exynos team members achieved extremely high performance and high power efficiency without significantly changing conventional processor design. In fact, 32nm HKMG processors are 30% faster and use 30% less power than processors developed on the 45nm process, making them ideal for high-performance mobile applications.

New Generation of Processors
Low-power HKMG processes have led Exynos to create processors capable of higher performance and power efficiency than ever before. With an advanced ARM® Cortex™-A15 core, the 1.7 GHz Exynos 5 Dual performs faster while consuming less power because of the 32nm process. This technology makes it possible to easily browse the Web, use 3D gaming applications and enjoy WQXGA video without having to worry about battery level.

Exynos 4 Quad makes good use of the 32nm HKMG process, boasting significantly decreased power consumption. Despite having four CPU cores, the Exynos 4 Quad is over 30% more power efficient than chipsets built on the 45nm process. When compared to the Exynos 4 Dual 45nm (found in the Galaxy S), the Exynos 4 Quad (found in the Galaxy S III) is capable of more powerful performance and consumes significantly less power. In addition to the HKMG process, the Exynos 4 Quad relies on Multiple Power Domain and Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling to handle power management. Power is optimized throughout the system to ensure that extremely fast performance and efficiency go hand in hand.

To learn more about HKMG processes and other power-saving Exynos features, visit the Samsung Exynos website.