You all know about the Exynos 990 vs Snapdragon 865 controversy by now. There was outrage and petitions, company executives being grilled by shareholders, and the Exynos team feeling humiliated that their product was skipped in favor of the Snapdragon for Galaxy S20 units destined for South Korea.
Samsung has given up on trying to make its own custom cores. This was one of the reasons why there was a growing difference between the Exynos and Qualcomm chips. It will simply license IP from ARM much like in the way Qualcomm does. A new rumor gives us hope that the Exynos 1000 might not be that bad compared to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 875.
Exynos 1000 could even be as good as its Snapdragon counterpart
The rumor comes from @UniverseIce who claims that both next-generation Exynos and Qualcomm chips will feature a 1 + 3 + 4 core configuration. This means that there will be one prime core, three performance cores and four power efficiency cores making up the chipset.
ARM unveiled its new flagship CPU core designs earlier this year. The new Cortex-A78 is the successor to ARM’s current fastest core, the Cortex-A77. ARM claims a 20 percent improvement in CPU performance and up to 50 percent less power consumption for the same CPU performance. This was an evolutionary update and nothing out of the ordinary.
The more interesting announcement was that of ARM’s new entirely performance-oriented X1 core. It was the result of ARM’s CXC program in which it works with partners to develop custom cores. At integer calculations, the X1 is claimed to be 23 percent faster than even the new Cortex-A78 with a 30 percent higher peak performance compared to the Cortex-A77. It also has enhanced machine learning capabilities. The X1 core is bigger and needs more power than the A78 which means that it was unlikely we’d see CPUs with multiple Cortex-X1 cores.
The only way a 1 + 3 + 4 configuration makes sense for the Exynos 1000 is for it to feature the X1 Core which would handle tasks that require maximum performance, three Cortex-A78 cores for more routine tasks and four Cortex-A55 for nominal tasks to maximize power efficiency, that is if ARM doesn’t unveil a successor for its efficient core.
This should, at least in theory, bridge the gap between the two so much so that we won’t have to go through an Exynos 1000 vs Snapdragon 875 debacle next year for the Galaxy S21. Do keep in mind that none of this is confirmed right now and it won’t be possible to get a true understanding of the capabilities of these chipsets until we get our hands on devices running them.
As it stands, there’s hope that Samsung customers in regions where the Exynos variants are shipped may have one less thing to worry about.