Samsung Unveils a New Exynos 5 Octa (5420) With Greater CPU and GPU Processing Power

Samsung announced the first Octo-core ARM processor, and the first using big.LITTLE technolocy at CES 2013 in January, and today the company has announced a new Exynos 5 Octa (Exynos 5420) with a six-core ARM Mali-T628 MP6 GPU  (interestingly ditching PowerVR SGX544MP3 in the process), as well as 4 ARM Cortex-A15 cores at 1.8GHz, and 4 Cortex-A7 cores at 1.3GHz.

Samsung claims Mali-T628 MP6 boosts 3D graphic processing capabilities by over two times compared to the PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU used in Exynos 5410. The ARM GPU also supports General-Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units (GPGPU) to accelerate complex and computationally intensive algorithms or operations, with API such as OpenCL 1.1. This product also supports OpenGL ES 3.0 to enable the processing powered requires by high-end, complex games.

Even it’s still using 4x Cortex-A15, 4x Cortex-A7 big.LITTLE processing configuration, the company claims CPU processing capability has been improved by about 20 percent over Exynos 5410  by increasing the CPU cores clock. As I found out recently, Exynos 5410 big.LITTLE processing SoC implementation is far from optimal as you can only use a cluster of 4 processor at the same time (either all 4 Cortex A7 or Cortex A15), and hopefully, Samsung has improved the situation with Exynos 5420 by allowing per-core switching. Sadly, they do not mention what has been done with big.LITTLE at all in the press release. [Update: Several unofficial online sources (see comments) indicate that Exynos 5420 does indeed fully support “Global Task Scheduling” (GTS) with 8 independent cores]

Exynos 5420 processor also features a memory bandwidth of 14.9 GB/s paired with a dual-channel LPDDR3 at 933MHz, enabling an fast data processing and support for full HD Wifi display. The processor also support hardware video decoding and encoding at 1080p60.

Exynos 5 Octa is said to be sampling to customers now, and is scheduled for mass-production in August 2013.

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10 Replies to “Samsung Unveils a New Exynos 5 Octa (5420) With Greater CPU and GPU Processing Power”

  1. This is what the first octo-core should have been (ref Mali GPU, even Mali-400MP4).

    There is actually already working GTS (Global Task Scheduling) reference implementation on Linaro codebases, that enable all 8 CPU cores to run at the same time, the IKS (In-Kernel Switcher) is of course still the norm on mainline Linux, but will be configurable between IKS and GTS soon enough when Exynos 5420 will hit the production.


  2. @anon
    IMHO Mali-400MP4 is too weak for A15 processors.

    GTS can’t work with 5410, because Samsung only support “Cluster granatity”. So even IKS can’t run in an optimal manner (at a A7/A15 CPU pair level), and we have yet to see if 5420 support GTS on a per-CPU basis.

  3. @cnxsoft
    Exactly. That’s the first question popping into my head. Will this work “correctly” with IKS and GTS? I always thought that Exynos 5 Octa (5410) will be a massively available playground for GTS and IKS for Linaro and other developers. If 5420 cannot deliver that we end up waiting for another year probably.

  4. @davidlt
    Yes, with Samsung we may have to wait for another year, if they have not done so in this processor.
    There are also other companies such as Mediatek and AllWinner launching bit.LITTLE processors later this year, so there may be hope.
    However, if Samsung did not do it, there must be a valid reason (complexity? cost? lack of software stack to test Silicon?).

  5. And one more confirmation it should fully support GTS (

    “The to-be-announced new processor is the 5420, it’s not a new revision of the 5410. It has the same target clocks as the 5410 but with a properly working CCI to be able to use GTS, and the GPU is replaced with a new generation Mali T62X instead of the SGX 544. It also has some other miscellaneous updates like VP9 encoder/decoder. It’ll debut in the new Chromebook this fall.”

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