Long ago that smartphones took the lead in innovation. Rather, efforts regarding their manufacturers by taking them a step further. So much so that our mobile chips are hunting all the headlines and personal computers have become the background.
For a few years, there were only a few chipmakers that had relevance. On the one hand, Apple side with their chips to own made by some and by others but designed in Cupertino. On the other hand, Qualcomm with its Snapdragon, famous and used for a variety of mobile manufacturers.
In 2016 something funny will happen, and unique. For the first time we will have up to 5 chips competing at the top. Not only the above but a Samsung Exynos, the 8890, which will equip the Samsung Galaxy S7.Although Samsung already highlighted last year with the processor Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. And MediaTek, completely unexpected, and Huawei also joined with Kirin 950.
It will be an exciting year for fans of the benchmarks and although the operation of a smartphone depends on many different factors, there is no doubt that the processor has much of the blame for his performance. So let’s count how each of these miniature brains.
Apple A9, the brain of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus
This happens with both chip that part disadvantage as without it. A disadvantage because it is the last processor 2015 and will not reach his successor until September this 2016 with the iPhone 7 and its new processor, Apple A10. No disadvantage because Apple users do not compete with Android in power or enter wars benchmarks. Systems different with different requirements and this is demonstrated in the architecture of the processor itself.
The Apple A9 chip has two cores own design, two cores ARMv8-A to run at a maximum frequency of 1,85GHz and have the support of a GPU six – core, one PowerVR GT7600. Only that it is enough to beat the latest generation of different manufacturers in several respects and lose in others. The comparisons are made on different hardwares, and hence the onscreen and off-screen figures vary so much.
The Apple A9 supports memories LPDDR4 as 2GB riding the iPhone 6s and is made of two technologies, something curious because it is the only one that happens in our comparison. TSMC builds in 16 nanometers while production Samsung does in 14 nanometer. In addition, the chip provides connectivity LTE Category 6.
Exynos 8890, responsible for moving the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Samsung is by no means a novice in this manufacturing chips and its main bet for this year will be the Exynos 8890. Better them the S7 function as expected, as the latest news coming talk about that the next chip Apple would be manufactured exclusively by TSMC, blow, albeit moderate, to the production of processors Koreans.
The Exynos 8890 is a processor octa-core in which the four cores more power are M1, Samsung style architecture, and the four cores less power, and those responsible for energy savings, are Cortex A53. As usual in Korean, it is a Mali GPU. In this case a Mali T880 MP12 with twelve cores to try to offer a wonderful graphics experience in the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
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Like the Apple A9, the 8890 supports the latest generation of memories LPDDR4 and, if the rumors are true, will be accompanied by 4GB in the Galaxy S7. The chip is manufactured with 14 nanometer FinFET technology and will offer LTE connectivity category category 12 and 13. The connection speed networks fastest time data.
The Snapdragon 820, high-end Android in its purest form
The Snapdragon 810 was a big fiasco and the decision by some manufacturers opts for a different model, such as 808 in the LG G4, it shows that the manufacturer made a mistake. The chip is overheated so much that was derided by the media and its competition, so the Snapdragon 820 does something we had not seen before: back to the four cores from eight of 810.
This step backward Qualcomm has produced a chip with four cores and architecture itself two high -performance cores Kryo to 2.2GHz and two under performing, also Kryo to 1.6GHz. The processor will be a GPU Adreno 530 12 cores, the last graph brain Americans.
Supported in the memories we meet with LPDDR4 although Qualcomm does give us the maximum speed that can have, 1866MHz. It is manufactured in 14 nanometer FinFET technologies, like its competitors above, and offers LTE category 12. Again, high speed data connections.
Kirin 950, the unexpected visitor who came from Huawei
Huawei has spent years insisting not bow to the trend of other manufacturers and even sometimes opt for Qualcomm for some models, still going strong producing their own Kirin. The last chip in leaving their factories has been the Kirin 950 and will, unless notice throughout this year, its highest competitor 2016. Although we read references to Kirin 955, his next release.
With the Kirin 950 we came across a chip eight cores with a novelty with respect to the above, the core group of maximum power is formed by Cortex A72 at 2.3GHz. This technology should double the power Cortex A53 cores, of which Kirin 950 has four and 1.8GHz. The big question, and the Achilles heel of Huawei, is the GPU Mali T880 MP4 quad core. GPU performance hampers the Kirin generations.
Kirin 950 is also made FinFET technology although in this case and 16nanómetros Plus. It allows us to use memories LPDDR4 to a maximum of 1333MHz and offers connectivity LTE Category 6. Kirin still lacks a small step to catch up with the others but this 950 is a great bet. The best and most level they have ever made in Huawei.
Helio X20, the unwelcome guest
If a manufacturer not expected to have a list of competitors at the highest level, it is to MediaTek. Taiwanese have specialized in supplying chips to market much input ranges and mid – range Android, but with the new Helio have risen quite high step. Both the X10 and P10 Helio leave a great taste but its maximum bet for much of this 2016 is the Helio X20.
More wood and more cores, the Helio X10 is a chip ten cores, if we thought that eight were already too many. It consists of 2 cores Cortex A72 at 2.5GHz, 4 cores at 2GHz Cortex A53 and Cortex A53 cores 4 to 1.4 GHz, and designed to run in configurations of 6 -core and 4 – core maximum power saving mode GPU a Mali T880 MP4 quad-core for the graphics.
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Unlike all previous models, the Helio X20 is 20 nanometers and offers compatibility with memories LPDDR3, the previous generation. In terms of connectivity, we LTE Category 6 in all smartphones that decide to equip this Helio X20. A little behind, but a very interesting bet a MediaTek begins to pull the claws and already want many manufacturers.
The big five, face to face
Here’s a benchmark, or rather, the evolution of the benchmarks of the main chips of each manufacturer over the years, with the last exponent of each outlined last. As we see, evolution has been remarkable and the differences have been minimized.
Then we leave with the table of characteristics of each of the chips…
|APPLE A9||EXYNOS 8890||SNAPDRAGON 820||KIRIN 950||HELIO X20|
|CPU||2 x ARMv8-A 1,85GHz||4 x M1
4 x Cortex A53
|2 x Kryo 2.2GHz
2 x Kryo to 1.6GHz
|4 x Cortex A72 to 2.3GHz
4 x Cortex A53 to 1.8GHz
|2 x Cortex A72 to 2.5GHz
4 x 2GHz Cortex A53
4 x Cortex A53 to 1.4GHz
|GPU||GPU PowerVR series 6-core GT7600||Mali T880 12-core MP12||12-core Adreno 530||Mali T880 4-core MP4||Mali T880 4-core MP4|
|Manufacturing||16nm (TSMC) and 14nm (Samsung)||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||16nm FinFET Plus||20nm|
|Memory||LPDDR4||LPDDR4||LPDDR4 to 1866MHz||LPDDR4 1333MHz||LPDDR3|
|connectivity||LTE Category 6||LTE category 12,13||LTE Category 12||LTE Category 6||LTE Category 6|
|models||iPhone 6s Plus
|Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Meizu Pro 6
|Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Xiaomi Mi 5
Sony Xperia X Performance
Vivo XPlay 5
HP Elite X3
Huawei P9 Pro
Huawei Max P9
|Meizu Pro 5
Zopo Speed 8
Meizu M3 Metal
Meizu Mini MX6