Samsung is often called a follower but this time it’s a leader: The company’s new Exynos 5430 smartphone chip is the first to use a 20nm process. The recently announced Samsung Galaxy Alpha handset will use this chip, which Samsung says uses 25 percent less power than its last generation Exynos processor:
“Exynos 5430 is the first mobile application processor(AP) built using 20 nm low-power High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology providing considerable amount of power and performance advantages. This brand-new process node lowers the power consumption by up to 25%, compared with 28nm* process node.”
Samsung is continuing to use the big.LITTLE approach for its ARM chips, meaning the new Exynos has four high-power cores paired with an equal number of lower-powered cores. When more computing power is needed, individual cores can be used and when little processing is happening, cores can be clocked down. The faster A15 cores can reach clock speeds of 1.8 GHz while the slower A7 cores top out at 1.3 GHz, notes AnandTech.
The thin, metal-clad Galaxy Alpha ought to provide a solid balance between power and performance as a result. With a 4.7-inch display, there’s not room for a massive battery: Samsung is using an 1860 mAh power pack. The phone’s display is only 720p, however, so it shouldn’t stress the GPU on the new Exynos 5430, which is capable of driving a 2560 x 1600 screen.
If Samsung’s chip claims are accurate, the Galaxy Alpha’s mid-range stigma could quickly disappear thanks to solid performance and all-day battery life for all types of users.