The Samsung Exynos 7420 Deep Dive – Inside A Modern 14nm SoC

Over the past few years it’s been somewhat expected tradition for Samsung Electronics to employ a strategy of multi-sourcing the SoC for their mobile devices. Most notably it’s on the North American and specifically CDMA markets that we saw wide usage of Qualcomm SoCs. This diversification started with the Galaxy S2 as it was offered both in versions with Samsung System LSI's Exynos chipset as well as variants with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon offerings. On the last few generation of devices we’ve seen the average share of Exynos in Galaxy devices continually decline, as the shift to ARM's Cortex A15 based SoCs just didn’t work out as well in terms of power consumption and thus lost design wins to better balanced Krait-based SoCs from Qualcomm. In fact the last time we’ve seen a Galaxy device make use of an Exynos throughout all its global variants was the Galaxy Note 2 back in 2012.

With the Galaxy S6 again offering a world-wide release of exclusively Samsung designed SoCs, we see an immensely contrasted situation to what we had just over a year ago. The Exynos 7420 marks a true new generation of SoCs for Samsung. The chipset is described as the company’s “most advanced application processor to date”, and today we’re going to have a deep investigation into what a modern SoC looks like, and try to put the chip through its paces through power and performance measurements.