The original Exynos 5 Octa, the one announced at CES 2012, was a bit of a failure. Americans never saw it. Europeans never saw it. Many Asian countries didn’t see it either. Instead, they got Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600. Why? Part of the reason might have to do with Samsung’s chip factories. A bigger reason, according to AnandTech, was that the Exynos 5250 was just plain broken.
So today, Samsung aims to fix that with the new Exynos 5420. What’s changed? On the CPU side, things are simply faster. The ARM Cortex A15 cluster (still four cores) can go as high as 1.8 GHz versus 1.6 GHz. And the ARM Cortex A7 cluster (also four cores) can hit 1.3 GHz instead of 1.2 GHz.
Here’s where things get crazy, the GPU. Gone is the PowerVR Imagination SGX544MP3. It’s been replaced by an ARM Mali-T628. How much faster is it? Samsung’s press release says “over two times greater than the Exynos 5 Octa predecessor.” That’s nothing to sneeze at, though obviously we’re going to have to wait until benchmarks.
Speaking about benchmarks, when will we able to run them on commercial hardware? This new chip should enter mass production next month, so there’s a very high probability it’ll end up in something on store shelves by the end of this year. What exactly is the real question, and I don’t have an answer for you at this time, though my gut says tablet, tablet, tablet.