Samsung Exynos 5 Dual mobile processor features two 1.7GHz ARM Cortex-A15 processors, a WQXGA display controller, and two LPDDR3 controllers to feed ‘em

This past weekend, the Web was abuzz with last week’s unveiling of Samsung’s Exynos 5 Dual mobile processor. This SoC features two 1.7GHz ARM Cortex-A15 processors rather than the previous Exynos generation Dual mobile processor that incorporated two 1.4GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor cores. Between the ARM Cortex-A15 processor’s additional clock rate and its improved instructions/clock figure of merit (1.5x better for integer processing and 2x better for floating-point processing), Samsung says that the Exynos 5 Dual mobile processor has twice the processing bandwidth of the previous generation.

However, these two leading-edge CPU cores are not the only significant feature of this new mobile processor chip. It also includes a controller for 2560×2048-pixel WQXGA displays (also known as the “Wide Quad Extended Graphics Array”). Worst case, a WQXDA display controller operating at 60 frames/sec and 24 bits/pixel requires 8 Gbytes/sec of memory bandwidth. However, that’s with the display controller getting the entire memory interface. As the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual White Paper points out, assuming the display controller “only” takes 80% of the memory bandwidth, the chip will need 10 Gbytes/sec of memory bandwidth and that’s giving the two ARM Cortex-A15 processors a mere 2 Gbytes/sec  of memory bandwidth to share.

Here’s a graph of display resolution versus memory bandwidth from the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual White Paper.

Consequently, the designers of the Exynos 5 Dual mobile processor added two 800MHz LPDDR3 memory controllers to the design. Together, these SDRAM controllers can generate a peak bandwidth of 12.8 Gbytes/sec of memory traffic between the Exynos 5 Dual mobile processor and the attached LPDDR3 1600 SDRAMs.

Here’s a block diagram of the Exynos 5 Dual mobile processor:

For more in-depth information on the ARM Cortex-A15 processor core, see:

Want some Top Secret ARM Cortex-A15 implementation info?

Would you like some ARM Cortex-A15 resources to peruse?

The WORD on ARM’s big.LITTLE Cortex-A15/A7 design philosophy from Jack Ganssle, a leading expert and consultant on embedded design and firmware development

Realizing the ARM Cortex-A15: What does the road to 2.5GHz look like?

Want to know the secrets of implementing an ARM Cortex-A15 in an advanced process node? Read on!

ARM Cortex-A15—does this processor IP core need a new category…Superstar IP?

To get your own copy of the Samsung Exynos 5 technical White Paper, click here.

(Note: This blog post originally appeared yesterday in the blog.)


About sleibson2

EDA360 Evangelist and Marketing Director at Cadence Design Systems (blog at
This entry was posted in Cortex-A15, EDA360, Samsung, Silicon Realization, SoC, SoC Realization and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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