US-Bound Samsung Galaxy S3 to Have Qualcomm Snapdragon S4: Is it Better Than Exynos 4 Quad?

By : Subscribe to IBTimes's | April 29, 2012 7:58 PM IST

South Korean giants Samsung are apparently set to launch the next Galaxy smartphone at an event on 3 May in London and multiple reports have the company confirming both the name of the device - Samsung Galaxy S3 - and the processor - the 1.4GHz Exynos 4 quad-core processor. 

Soon after the above reports, stories began circulating that Samsung would opt for Qualcomm's dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip for the US version of their phone.

The S4 for the S3?

"Samsung plans to release its Galaxy S3 smartphone according to different specifications and different markets. For European consumers, it will use 3G and the company's own quad-core mobile APs, while its own solution that combines LTE, 3G and quad-core mobile APs will be used for the Korean version. But only in the United States, will Samsung use Qualcomm chips," an unidentified Samsung executive was quoted as saying in a report by Korea Times.

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The company, it seems, is likely to take a leaf from HTC's book. The Taiwanese manufacturer used the Tegra 3 quad-core chip (for the HTC One X) in non-US markets but switched to the S4 for the US.

There is concern, however, that the ongoing shortage of the Snapdragon S4 unit could affect Samsung but both companies have dismissed that possibility.

"Although the manufacturing yields are progressing per expectation, there is a shortage of 28-nanometer capacity. And at this stage, we cannot secure enough supply to meet the increasing demand we are experiencing. We are working closely with our partners to bring additional capacity online," said Qualcomm Chief Executive Paul Jacobs.

What is the Exynos 4 Capable of?

"The quad-core processor offers phenomenal multitasking abilities surpassing any single or dual application processor. Since all the cores must share a single battery, the power management and efficiency in the limited battery capacity are indispensable for mobile computing devices. Given the diverse functionalities consumers are demanding from their mobile devices today, the Exynos 4 Quad meets those high performance needs while keeping power consumption very low," said Taehoon Kim, the Vice President of System LSI marketing, Device Solution, Samsung, at the launch of the chip.  

The Exynos 4 quad-core processor is well suited for applications such as 3D games, video editing and calculation intensive simulation. Furthermore, the processor has twice the processing capabilities of the 45nm process-based Exynos 4 dual-core processor and consumes 20 percent less power.

"The application processor is a crucial element in providing our customer with PC-like experience on mobile devices. Samsung's next Galaxy device, which will be officially announce4d soon, offers uncompromised performance and ground breaking multi-tasking features, thanks to Exynos 4 Quad's powerful performance and efficient energy management technology," said Hankil Yoon, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy Team.

According to the company's notes, the new processor incorporates a full HD 30 frame per second video hardware codec engine for high resolution 1080p video recording and play-back, an embedded image signal processor interface for high-quality camera functionality and an HDMI 1.4 interface for sharp and crisp multimedia content transmission. 

Benchmark Test for Snapdragon S4

A benchmark test of Qualcomm's new dual-core Snapdragon S4 mobile chip was conducted in February by Anandtech. The results of the test showed the processor offersed a significant improvement over Qualcomm's previous chipsets, according to Electronista.

The Snapdragon S4 mobile processor - the MSM8960 - is a dual-core 1.5GHz processor along with an Adreno 225 graphics chip. The processing unit is based on Qualsomm's Krait 28nm process chip architecture. The Adreno 225 exploits the 28nm manufacturing process and run up to 400MHz.

The test score of the Snapdragon S4, incidentally, was double than that of the chip used in the Galaxy Nexus, which is a dual-core 1.2 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP process based on an ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, reports 9to5Google. 

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