Samsung has just announced their latest Exynos processor, the 4212. Boring name aside, this this is, to quote Steve Jobs, “a screamer”. Clocked at 1.5 GHz, it’s obviously faster than the 1.2 Ghz 4210 that’s found inside the Galaxy S II, but what makes the 4212 special is that it’s build using a 32 nanometer process. The 4210 was built on a 45 nanometer process, meaning it used up more power and took up more space on a phone’s motherboard. Samsung claims that the 4212 uses 30% less power than the 4210. They also claim that the new graphics chip used in the 4212 is over 50% faster than the 4210, which should translate into higher frames per second in your games and a smoother user interfaces thanks to less lag. Other notable things include the ability to play and record 1080p video, support for HDMI 1.4, and … that’s it really. The 4212 will start sampling in Q4 2011, so we can’t say for sure when it’ll end up in devices. Something tells us this chip isn’t going to be powering the device Samsung plans on announcing at CTIA in October.
When looking at what competitors offers, Qualcomm has said that they’re going to come out with 28 nanometer based chips, which they’re calling “S4”, at some point in 2012. Right now everything they make uses 45 nanometer technology. Apple’s A5, which is in the iPad 2 and will probably end up in the next iPhone, is also built using 45 nanometer technology, though the successor, the A6, is rumored to show up in early 2012 along with the iPad 3. Smaller transistors matter when you start bumping up performance levels. How fast will an S4 GPU be compared to an A6 GPU or the 4212 GPU is another question all together.
Update: Oh an incase you were wondering, both the 4212 and 4210 use generic ARM Cortex A9 processors. We’ll have to wait a while before we see Cortex A15 processors show up in system on chips.