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The Samsung Custom CPU: Exceptionally designed for unrivaled speed

June 5, 2017

With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ with the Exynos 9 Series (8895) processor, you may be wondering how this processor differentiates from its predecessor(s). In addition to the diverse innovative technologies and features such as a 10nm FinFET process, a gigabit LTE modem, and an advanced GPU, the Exynos 8895 features an innovative 2nd generation custom CPU core for ultimate computing power. Let’s look into why it’s so special.

History and reasons to innovate
As a leader in the mobile processor industry, Samsung has been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to delivering performance and efficiency for the best user experience. At CES 2013, Samsung introduced the Exynos 5 Octa, the industry’s first octa-core mobile processor with big.LITTLE™ processing, which led to the adoption of multi-core processors amongst smartphone and chip manufacturers. Likewise, the Exynos 7 Octa (5433), announced in 2014, ignited the trend in 64-bit multi-core processors across the industry. These advancements in CPU technology have enabled Samsung to continuously satisfy the consumers’ needs for more powerful devices coupled with longer battery life. However, improving both performance and power efficiency at the same time is very difficult as they are in an inverse relationship. So, the industry including Samsung had to find a new kind of breakthrough for the perfect balance of performance and power efficiency, hence the introduction of the custom CPU core in 2015.

Redesigned brain to refine the speed
In 2015, Samsung introduced its first custom CPU core in its premium mobile processor, the Exynos 8 Octa (8890). Through a completely clean sheet design, the custom CPU offers higher single-thread and multi-thread performance while consuming less power when compared to previous Exynos processors’ CPU.

To design the best mobile CPU core to date, Samsung licensed ARM®v8 ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) from ARM Ltd. to maintain the existing mobile ecosystem and designed the micro-architecture from scratch, including whole execution pipelines, branch prediction unit, and cache memories. In addition to performance, power efficiency has also been enhanced by adopting advanced low power micro-architecture and physical implementation design schemes.

The Exynos 9 Series (8895) comes with more upgraded brain. The 2nd generation custom CPU is designed to offer more powerful performance with better power efficiency through improved IP and architectural design. It offers faster computing speed even at a lower clock frequency thanks to the improved micro-architecture. Especially the floating point performance and the memory performance have significantly improved resulting in a huge improvement in power efficiency. Notably, this custom core is built on Samsung’s state-of-the-art 10nm FinFET process, which is the most advanced and market-proven semiconductor process technology for the best performance and power efficiency.

Samsung also implemented its own Samsung Cache-coherent Interconnect (SCI) to enable a big.LITTLE HMP(Heterogeneous Multi Processing) technology between the custom cores and Cortex®-A53 cores for the most optimal heterogeneous multi-processing. Furthermore, the SCI of the Exynos 8895 has also been upgraded to support full cache coherency among not only the big and LITTLE CPU cores but also GPU for heterogeneous computing architecture that enables a different level of performance.

From the power and performance optimizing octa-core processor configuration and 10nm FinFET process technology, Samsung has developed and adopted an array of advanced technologies to create the perfect balance and harmony between performance and efficiency. With the 2nd generation custom CPU core’s new level of processing power and power efficiency, the Samsung Exynos 9 Series opens up a new era of mobile experiences.

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For more information about the Exynos-powered Galaxy S8 and S8+, please visit official Galaxy website and the Exynos 8895 webpage. And head over to Exynos Facebook and Twitter for more news and stories.