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Samsung 1GHz Mobile Chipset Has 4x Power of Snapdragon

Gordon Kelly


Samsung 1GHz Mobile Chipset Has 4x Power of Snapdragon

Earlier this week the launch of the Galaxy S saw me give Samsung something of a bashing for its worrying moves into increasingly proprietary software and hardware technologies. Judging by your reactions this was largely deserved, but I will stand up for Samsung when I feel such moves genuinely benefit from it...

I briefly mentioned during the Galaxy S write-up that Samsung has decided to use its own chipset to power the handset rather than the near ubiquitous Qualcomm Snapdragon as seen in the Nexus One, HTC Desire, Acer Liquid A1, Toshiba TG01 and many others. In fact Snapdragon has even become the defacto platform in the (very) slowly emerging smartbook sector. So why the change? In short (and to quote Jeremy Clarkson): power!

While Samsung for some reason chose not to mention this in their official Galaxy S press release, AndroidandMe.com has managed to track down details on the 'Samsung 1GHz chipset' and discovered something quite remarkable: it has almost 4x the processing power of Snapdragon. That amounts to a massive 90m triangles per second compared to the 22m processed by Snapdragon. In fact, AndroidandMe goes further than that with a few intriguing examples:

Motorola Droid: TI OMAP3430 with PowerVR SGX530 = 7 million triangles/sec

Nexus One: Qualcomm QSD8×50 with Adreno 200 = 22 million triangles/sec

iPhone 3G S: 600 MHz Cortex-A8 with PowerVR SGX535 = 28 million triangles/sec

And even on the games console side:

PS3: 250 million triangles/sec

Xbox 360: 500 million triangles/sec

How is this achievable? The Samsung chip uses its new S5PC110 CPU combined with an ARM Cortex-A8 core and pairs them with the latest PowerVR SGX540 GPU of which we know litttle. Based on these figures we'd certainly like to know more though. Of course raw polygon power doesn't tell the whole story in terms of performance (as the console figures clearly show) and the optimisation of software and use of a top quality touchscreen are equally vital, but it is an exciting advantage for Samsung to have. Furthermore, this chipset will also feature in the Wave and has obvious potential for the smartbook sector as well.

Consequently, while I'll stick to my complaints about Bada the crazy idea of universal TouchWiz UIs and numerous other elements of Samsung's business strategy right now, I will concede that this particular piece of proprietary preference looks entirely justified.


via AndroidandMe.com


March 26, 2010, 8:52 pm

Cool. Snapdragon always seemed below par anyway.

I don't think I'd seen that home screen before either. Looks like a strange cross between symbian widget screens and the iPhone.


March 26, 2010, 9:49 pm

Those seem like big numbers, but what do they all mean? I will go and look it up on Wikipedia, but I always thought the PS3 had more potential horsepower then the 360, but that they were more easily available then on it's counterpart. I guess that was all wrong?


March 27, 2010, 12:44 am

Surely the limiting factor is power consumption? Does this new setup use the same power as Snapdragon?


March 27, 2010, 12:48 am

The PS3 GPU is pretty much exactly a GeForce 7800GTX 512MB, the 360 GPU is harder, but its closest to Radeon X1800XT, which as generally better than a 7800gtx, cept in idtech4 engine games ie doom3.


March 27, 2010, 11:03 am

@Jesper - the PS3's Cell processor makes up the ground on the Xbox's graphics

@Xiphias - In short, we don't know. I suspect if it didn't last at least as long as other rival smartphones there would be little point using it, so fingers crossed.


March 27, 2010, 11:31 am

I know I'm going to sound like a luddite saying this but... is anyone else getting a bit fed up of the ridiculous pace of Android development? Just having a look at what's coming out or has been announced in the last couple of weeks we've got the HTC Legned (latest OS, slightly older hardware), HTC Desire (latest hardware, latest OS), Sony X10 (latest hardware, old software) and now this Samsug which has the potential to deliver a big jump in graphics performance. Considering these are phones you tend to buy on an 18 month contract the sheer pace is making it tricky to commit to the platform. At least with the iPhone (and even the Pre for that matter) you know you're getting a year or so before something properly new comes along and that software updates will be available in goo time.

Oh well, will be down the T-mobile store on Monday to have a proper look at a Desire and, if it feels right, it'll probably be my next phone on a 24 month contract. I just wish the future direction of the platform, both hardware and software, was a little more clear to enable us suckers, uh, customers to make a more informed decision.

S Xero

March 27, 2010, 8:18 pm

@BOFH_UK first of all; hi :D

I disagree a bit on your text. I find it very positive that a platform is updated pretty quick, I'd say that ~1 month would be a neat interval for updates to come along. It creates demand for an evolving platform, which is good, but it should also be downgradable.. You didn't like the 2.4? You go back to 2.3..

This hookes in on the updates posted for the iPhone. I'd have to say that I've got very little experience (read: none) handling the iPhone. But as most have heard; it should be very good. But there is a downside, which is obviously that the OS would get (and already is) dated in terms of over-all experience. This counts no-matter how good the operating system.

Alas for Android (and here I completely agree) the updates were more like jumps in the wild instead of regular intervals. And as for hardware; it's always good if hardware gets dated quickly.. As long as it can run what it must, it's OK. It should be really the user who's expectations determining the "goodness" of the (smart)phone

Don Kanonjii

March 28, 2010, 12:15 am

Seeing as samsung insist on making the 1st second of your ringtone quieter than it should be and not letting you get round that, i will never buy a samsung handset again. Silly maybe but it irritates the hell out of me. Re: this article though, 90 million is impressive but i hate to think what that is going to do to the battery...


March 29, 2010, 2:51 pm

@S_Xero: I find it very positive that a platform is updated pretty quick,

I'd agree, but the only issue I have looking at all these Iphone clones is that last years / or even last months hardware seems to be totally forgotten about in all this. Eg, I've had the Iphone for ages now, and keep getting updates, even Microsoft with Windows Phone 7 are already saying 6.x users will have to live with that version. And it seems the same with Android, whatever version the manufactures initially use that appears to be what your going to be stuck with, unless maybe you have the time and energy to hack them. I'd be very tempted by an Android phone, if only this wasn't the case.

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