The Exynos 4 Quad has the same ho-hum quad-core ARM Cortex A9 as the rest but the GPU looks like it's something special.

Samsung unveils next-gen Galaxy chip

Korean electronics giant Samsung has revealed that the next-generation Galaxy smartphone will use the firm’s own Exynos 4 quad-core processor.

Samsung seems keen to maintain the news momentum on the upcoming Galaxy smartphone ahead of the launch event scheduled for Thursday next week. The company released a video teaser, implying that iPhone owners were sheep, and now has released some further details on Samsung’s Exynos 4 chip.

In fact the Exynos 4 contains few surprises, based on the same quad-core ARM Cortex A9 as competing chips such as the Nvidia Tegra 3. Instead some of the dials have been turned up a notch with the clock speed increasing to 1.4GHz on a new 32nm low power fabrication process.

The Exynos 4 was also designed to drive displays up to 1366 x 768 as well as incorporating the ability to record 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second.

The question remains whether quad core ARM Cortex A9s are really any better for typical mobile phone workloads, particular compared with Qualcomm’s A15-class ‘Krait’ in the dual-core Snapdragon S4 as featured in the HTC One S. Benchmarks have shown Qualcomm’s chip to handily thrash Cortex A9 chips.

Perhaps more importantly then, the Exynos 4 Quad will use 20 per cent less power than the previous dual core device. We also rather suspect that Samsung will use the 20 per cent power saving to make the next-gen Galaxy even thinner rather than do anything crazy like make the phone last longer between charges.

If there’s a unique aspect regarding the Exynos 4 Quad, it’s something Samsung barely spoke about. The company didn’t talk up the integrated GPU but it’s widely assumed to be a higher clocked version of ARM’s own Norwegian-designed graphics core, the beefy Mali-400.

The previous GPU in the Exynos 4 Dual was particularly impressive in 3D performance and leaked benchmarks for the Samsung Galaxy S III showed the chip comfortably taking the 3D performance crown from rivals such as Nvidia and Qualcomm.

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