Samsung's Exynos 8 Octa 8890 chipset now official: 14nm FinFET, 64-bit custom-core powerhouse

Samsung's Exynos 8 Octa 8890 chipset now official: 14nm FinFET, 64-bit custom-core powerhouse

The majority of rumors and we leaks regarding the Samsung Exynos 8 Octa 8890 that hit us during the past few weeks or so made us quite impatient to see if the speculations were true. Given that the Exynos 7 Octa 7420 is a spectacular chip that truly helped the Galaxy S6, S6 edge, and Note 5 be the top dogs they are, we were quite impatient to see how Samsung will continue the development of its chipset line. Well, the time has come, as Samsung officially announced the Exynos 8 Octa 8890 chipset.

Similar to the Exynos 7 Octa 7420, the new chipset is an 64-bit octa-core silicon that is built on a 14nm FinFET manufacturing process (no word whether it's Low Power Eearly or Low Power Plus, though). So far, so good, but what's really interesting about this new chip in particular is that it is the first one to come with custom-made CPU cores, four of them to be exact. Initially known as Mongoose or M1, these are based on the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture. The other four cores are Cortex-A53 ones. The two clusters work flawlessly in concert thanks to enhanced big.LITTLE heterogeneous multi-processing.

So, what's the benefit of having four Cortex-A53 cores and four custom ones? It seems that it's a big deal, as Samsung claims the Exynos 8 Octa 8890 boasts 30% better performance than the Exynos 7 Octa 7420, while being 10% more power-efficient at the same time. That seems like a "win-win" outcome, no matter how you view it.


Apart from the custom cores, the Exynos 8 Octa 8890 is also Samsung's first high-end one-chip silicon that combines the processor and the modem in a single package. True, we've seen such Samsung-made chipset in the past, but these were mostly mid-range ones. Back on the Exynos 8890: the new powerhouse comes with an LTE Rel.12 Cat.12/13 modem, which is unlocking the possibility for blazing-fast bandwidth. How fast exactly? Samsung says that download speed of up to 600Mbps and upload speed of up to 150Mbps are possible with its new in-house chip. Impressive, right?

As far as graphics are concerned, the Exynos 8890 doesn't bring a knife to a gunfight, either. With a top-end ARM Mali-T880 MP12 GPU on board, the chipset will most likely fare extremely well in the graphics-crunching department.

Samsung says that the Exynos 8 Octa 8890 is about to enter mass production in late 2015, but if some of the recent rumors are to be believed, it has already started the production of its new high-end silicon. We expect to see the new Exynos in half of all Galaxy S7 units Samsung churns out next year, but we shouldn't rule out the possibility that it could also end up in the Galaxy Note 6 later in 2016. Sure, Samsung can put the chip in other high-end smartphones in-between, too.

Samsung's Exynos 8 Octa 8890 chipset now official: 14nm FinFET, 64-bit custom-core powerhouse

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77 Comments

1. letosaw

Posts: 135; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Wow 2016 seems promising.

49. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

You're welcome PA!

58. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

Especially the bit about Mali 880 MP12 GPU! That beast is gonna floor everything!

68. Furbal unregistered

Holy crap, mp12.

2. Carl3000

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 11, 2014

Cool. Just hope it's not a closed platform for development like the 7420 was.

7. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Maybe it is something we have to live with in the coming years. Even Google is making it hard for the dev community by locking up their nexus bootloader.

21. vincelongman

Posts: 5611; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

BS The Nexus 6P/5X's bootloader is still the easiest to unlock Everything still works, including Android Pay, with the bootloader unlock

23. vincelongman

Posts: 5611; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Also, forgot to say QFuse is a hardware feature from Qualcomm Google aren't using it for anything

59. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Any thoughts about the "custom" cores? I personally don´t buy it, the numbers are far too similar of what A72 core promise too. So my bet is A72 ARM vanilla cores. Any info about that?

69. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Yeah, this seems a bit of an odd duck. The fact that they are going with 4 A53 cores and four custom, high-performance cores, yet the numbers seem so close to what an A72/A53 CPU would deliver is a little puzzling. I actually want to see them do well with their custom cores, because that will keep the pressure on Apple, Nvidia, and Qualcomm, whereas all the players using stock ARM will fall further behind. It' will just be a bit disappointing if it is a slightly tweaked A72/A53 setup.

70. TyrionLannister unregistered

They are 3 micro-ops wide. So yeah, the architecture is pretty much the same as A72. But they have a different pipeline. Also it can do OoO execution(out-of-order). I guess the main difference will be little ones like branch miss penalty. The score is around 2300 for single core. A72 gets around 1700-1800. It's not as wide as twister or cyclone, but the out-of-order execution and other pipeline improvements are visible. I have confirmed the data from anandtech.

71. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Probably yes, but just for the record: A9, A15, A57 and A72 are all OoO cores, so there is not difference there. What can be different is that they have improved the branch prediction in the reording module. I put the comment before reading Anandtech, it seems they are improved A72, so the numbers will be just a little higher than what you would expect, but not by much. A72 will provide different scores depending on frequency, they provide 1700-1800 when clocked medium (around 1.8 GHz) but they can go easily over 2000 when clocked high. Or at least that is my own estimation.

72. TyrionLannister unregistered

I doubt the A72 does 1800 in single-core with 1.8 Ghz. Can you provide a link for that?

74. TyrionLannister unregistered

just for the record, kirin 950 has 2.3 Ghz A72 and scores around 1720 in geekbench single core. Regarding OoO, it can vary from a simple branch delay slot to complex interleaving which fills up pipeline bubbles. Unless we get the full pipeline, we can't say anything for sure. One thing is certain though, this is neither vanilla A72 nor the full out custom twister. It's somewhere in the middle, with the kryo cores.

73. vincelongman

Posts: 5611; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I'm kind of disappointed it seems likely to be a A72 derivative, but not really surprised since its Samsung's first custom core I'm really surprised by the huge T880 MP12, should bring major performance and efficiency improvements Also the moves towards HSA are also pretty nice

65. true1984

Posts: 862; Member since: May 23, 2012

easier than htc?

60. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

What locked bootloader? You can unlock your device, you simply will lose the usage of Android Pay

61. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

What do you mean?

3. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Next year is gonna be a LOT more interesting!!!!!

4. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

This is exactly what I was waiting for.

5. MartinR

Posts: 64; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

@phonearena it is the Mali T880MP12....

10. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

19. vincelongman

Posts: 5611; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I didn't believe that at first But its from SamsungExynos's official Twitterhttps://twitter.com/SamsungExynos/status/664585940795420672

46. PeterK.

Posts: 314; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

Thanks for the additional info.

6. thegeneral7010

Posts: 437; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

so one will have better cpu performance (exynos) and the other will have better features like 60fps 4k video recording and 240fps 1080 recording (snapdragon).

12. TyrionLannister unregistered

We neither know if Exynos will be more powerful in CPU( Qualcomm promises 2X improvement over 810 and Samsung 30% over 7420, so both can be eveniy matched); nor do we know if 820 is the only one with 4k 60 and 1080@120 fps(Exynos can have them too, remember the full spec sheet isn't listed yet). Please note the 820 does NOT support 4k@60 fps or 1080p@240 fps encoding/recording. It only supports decode, or what's called as playback.

13. pmsap

Posts: 105; Member since: May 26, 2015

Sh********t.... No 1080p@240 fps encoding/recording will be a deal breaker for me. In that case I think I'm sticking up with the S6 (or even wait for the iphone 7! - which I didn't really wanted).

15. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

Plz how mali-t880mp12 perform against t760mp8 ??

17. Macready

Posts: 1798; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

50% more cores and 50% faster cores at a given clockspeed would translate into 2.25 times the bandwith. But the clockspeed could be lowered for better efficiency and lower temperatures (less throttling).

22. TyrionLannister unregistered

What macready said is correct. We have 50% more cores, every core is 50% more powerful in ALU, we might have architectural improvements(non-ALU) and the process advantage( 14nm LPP vs LPE). This easily translates into around 3x better performance. But I seriously doubt they will go for a 3x faster GPU. So what they will do is clock the frequency lower(somewhere around 400-500 Mhz), which will decrease the power consumption drastically(half the frequency translates to 4x more efficient). What I mean to say that it will most likely have a performance of around 2 times the T760 MP8, but will be a lot more efficient and won't throttle. They should be going wide and slow. Which is very good for practical applications, not just benchmarks.

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