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Samsung shows-off new quad-core Exynos chip, which could find a home in the Galaxy S III

Samsung exynos 5250 processorSamsung has teased a pair of new mobile processors at the International Solid State Circuits Conference, and is likely to unveil them fully during Mobile World Congress next week. Both are new entries in its Exynos series, with the 5250 being a dual-core chip and the 4412 a quad-core monster.

Due to its quad-core nature, it’s the Exynos 4412 which has currently garnered the most attention, and is being viewed as a challenger to both the Nvidia Tegra 3 and the Qualcomm S4 series.

It’s based on four ARM Cortex A-9 cores and will have a clock speed of 1.5Ghz, and is particularly interesting due to a reduction in the manufacturing process from 45nm to 32nm. If this doesn’t mean much to you, don’t worry, as ultimately it will make the chip more power efficient, thus consuming less battery power, while providing improved performance when it’s needed.

The Verge puts a figure on these improvements, saying devices with the 32nm Exynos chips could see battery life improving by between 34 and 50-percent, while giving 26-percent higher performance. It’s not just the quad-core system-on-a-chip which will benefit, as the new dual-core Exynos 5250 is also manufactured in the same way,

Rather than four A-9 cores, the Exynos 5250 uses two Cortex A15 cores, can reach speeds of 2.0Ghz and is potentially suitable for use in tablets as well as smartphones, as Samsung has stated it can support screen resolutions up to 2560 x 1600.

Quad-core hardware

While the news of a pair of new chips may not set many pulses racing, the thought of the new hardware using them may do, and the most logical new home for the quad-core Exynos 4412 is the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S III, as it’s almost certain Samsung’s successor to the dual-core Galaxy S II will feature a quad-core chip.

The only official quad-core phone so far is LG’s Optimus 4X HD, which makes use of the current darling of the processor world, the Nvidia Tegra 3. As cool as the Exynos’s 32nm design sounds, it doesn’t use the clever 4-PLUS-1 five-core system favored by the Tegra 3, so it’ll be fascinating to see how the two compare on the test bench.

With the Exynos 5250 not expected to go into mass production until April at the earliest, it may be a while before any devices using the chip hit the stores. In the case of the Exynos 4212, Mobile World Congress should provide us with more details, plus, if we’re very lucky, perhaps news of another device which will make use of the new quad-core processor.