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Samsung semi-announces an octa-core chip that can actually use all eight cores

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Samsung semi-announces an octa-core chip that can actually use all eight cores

Earlier this year, when Samsung announced the Galaxy S4, they said it would come in two versions. One powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600, the other powered by the company’s very own Exynos 5 Octa. Unfortunately, that Exynos variant launched in a limited number of countries, but more importantly, it wasn’t really a “true” octa-core chip. Yes, the Exynos 5 Octa comes with eight physical application processors, but you only get to use four of them at the same time. You either get the powerful ARM Cortex A15 cluster or the not-so-powerful ARM Cortex A7 cluster.

Yesterday, I covered Samsung’s tweets teasing a new Exynos chip. Today, Samsung didn’t technically announce a new chip, but they did say that they’re going to bring heterogeneous multi-processing to the Exynos Octa. What does that even mean? As I point out in my headline, it means all eight cores can be active at the same time. Also, sometimes it makes sense to light up one ARM Cortex A7 core and one ARM Cortex A15 core. Samsung’s chip will be able to do that too.

When will this new Exynos hit the market? Allegedly by the end of the year. Will it end up powering the Galaxy S5? Tough to say. Samsung really let me down when they failed to bring their Exynos 5 Octa mainstream, and I’ve sort of lost confidence in their ability to do it again.

We’ll see.

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