The mobile processor wars are heating up again as today Samsung announced that it has begun sampling the Exynos 5250, a 2-GHz, dual-core mobile CPU based on the ARM Cortex-A15 core. With the ability to process up to 14 billion instructions per second, drive displays with resolutions up to 2560 x 1600, and the ability to play full HD video at up to 60 frames per second, the Exynos 5250 is designed to power the next-generation of tablets and phones when it starts volume shipping Q2 of 2012.
The new Exynos 5250 chip has a new power efficiency feature that uses an embedded DisplayPort that works with new panel self-refresh technology to save power by issuing fewer refresh instructions to the panel. It also support a number of different booting interfaces including SATA, UART, and USB 3.0.
We'll be curious to see how the dual-core Exynos 2520 stacks up to quad-core competitors like the 1.5-GHz Nvidia Tegra 3, which has already begun shipping, and the Qualcomm Snapdragp APQ8064 which is expected to ship in 2012. While the Exynos 2520 has fewer cores, its ARM Cortex-A15 core is newer than those Qualcomm and Nvidia use and its 2-GHz clockspeed is also higher. Whether it is better to have more cores or more MHz and a newer-generation core remains to be seen.