This past fall, Samsung announced the next entry in its lineup of Exynos system-on-a-chip processors, the dual-core 5250. While everyone’s thoughts are turning to quad-core devices, dual-core chips aren’t likely to leave anytime soon. In fact, rather than seeing their evolution stagnate as quad-core chips steal the spotlight, we should instead be ready to see some of the highest-performing dual-core chips ever start arriving in smartphones and tablets this year. Samsung just mentioned the progress on the 5250 in its quarterly earnings call, and is planning large-scale production of the chip to begin during the second quarter of the year.
The big deal about the 5250, besides its high 2GHz clock speed, is that it’s built around Cortex A15 cores, instead of the A9s we see in current-generation chips. Supposedly, all other things being equal, the A15 is about 40% more powerful than the A9. Samsung says that it’s already supplying samples to manufacturers, so the first devices containing the 5250 are likely well into design and testing phases. Once Samsung ramps-up production of the chip in a few months, it shouldn’t be long before we start to see some of those devices arrive. At first, the chip will be relegated to tablets, but there are plans to later bring it to smartphones hopefully before the end of the year.