There has been a lot of confusion going on over the last few weeks on what exactly Samsung's Exynos 5433 is. Joshua and I were pretty much convinced that it was a standard big.LITTLE A15/A7 chip configuration due to naming consistencies and evidence in firmware. Even though the Note 4 was already announced with region-specific models employing this chip, Samsung S.LSI has yet to divulge any kind of official information on the matter or even publicly announce the chip.

With the release of new source code, we can now confirm that the Exynos 5433 is indeed the first Cortex A57/A53 SoC to market. We see a 4x Cortex A57, 4x Cortex A53 big.LITTLE CPU configuration employed in the part, here's a little overview of what we currently know: 

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 2014 lineup
SoC Samsung
Exynos 5422
Exynos 5430
Exynos 5433

4x Cortex A7 r0p5 @ 1.3GHz

4x Cortex A15 r2p4 @ 1.9GHz

4x Cortex A7 r0p5 @ 1.3GHz

4x Cortex A15 r3p3 @ 1.8GHz

4x Cortex A53 @ 

4x Cortex A57 r1p0 @


2x 32-bit @ 933MHz

14.9GB/s b/w 

2x 32-bit @ 1066MHz

17.0GB/s b/w 

2x 32-bit @ 825MHz

13.2GB/s b/w 

GPU Mali T628MP6
@ 533MHz 
Mali T628MP6
@ 600MHz
Mali T760MP6
@ 700MHz
28nm HKMG
20nm HKMG
  20nm HKMG

The big question is why Samsung choose to name this chip Exynos 5433 and not market it as a 64-bit chip in a new product lineup? The answer could be simply that we won't ever see the 5433 running in AArch64 mode. The chip's firmware and drivers are running on a "CAL" / Chip-Abstraction-Layer on the lowest level of the driver stacks. In fact, beyond the CPU cores (and GPU), the Exynos 5433 looks very similar to the Exynos 5430 which employs A15/A7 cores. 

While we won't be seeing the Exynos 5433 running 64-bit code any time soon, it still takes advantage of the architectural improvements of ARM's Cortex A57 and A53 cores and their ARMv8 instruction set (running in AArch32 mode). Power consumption should also be improved due to the new A50's power management and new retention features. The silicon, similarly to the 5430, is manufactured on Samsung's new 20nm process.

Atlas (A57) and Apollo (A53) cores in the power management drivers

Also employed for the first time is ARM's new Mali T760 GPU running at 700MHz. We already published an architectural dive into the T760 detailing what's new. I wasn't able to determine the number of cores on this GPU due to ARM's transparent and scalable driver architecture in regards to shader cores, this is something we'll have to wait for in the eventual official announcement or in a hands-on investigation. OpenCL information points out to 6 compute units, hence we can derive an MP6 configuration on the Mali (Shoutout to Lodix for his findings).

While the Exynos 5433 seems nothing more than a "brain-transplant" in terms of SoC design, the newer Exynos 7 chip is a genuinely new part. Over the last 3 weeks Samsung has been busy submitting patches to the Linux kernel mailing lists adding support for their new SoC lineup. The Exynos 7420 seems to be on track for Samsung's next flagship lineup, this time in full 64-bit AArch64 mode with Android L. The details of the chip are still sparse, but we'll be seeing the same A57/A53 CPU combination together with an Mali T760, powered by an LPDDR4-capable memory controller.

The Exynos 5433 is definitely a surprise that many didn't expect. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 isn't officially due until Q1 2015, and we don't know yet when we'll be seeing it in consumer devices. Here Samsung has quite a lead as the Note 4 variants with the 5433 are shipping in the coming weeks. While I'm still a bit perplexed at Samsung's silence and lack of announcements, the fact that many regions are supplied a Snapdragon S805 in the Note 4 may have to do something with it, as they wouldn't want to cause buyer's remorse. 

Edit 22/10/2014: Mali MP6 configuration has been confirmed.

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  • tuxRoller - Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - link

    Since benchmarks don't tell the whole story how can we confirm your views? Especially the fairly significant idea of Exynos ALWAYS being better.
  • lilmoe - Thursday, September 18, 2014 - link

    By actual real world usage... Especially comparing both SoCs on the exact same hardware/software (Galaxy+Touchwiz). The GS3, GS4, GS5, and Note3 all came in 2 variants. I've used both variants of the GS4 and Note3 first hand and can tell you that the Exynos versions run faster in general usage and gaming and they last longer on battery, but they don't perform better in benchmarks.

    Also, the Snapdragon GS4 took 2.5 hours to charge from 0-100, but my Exynos GS4 takes about 1.5/1.7 hours...
  • Rama TT - Friday, September 19, 2014 - link

    Its not that Samsung chips are less performing just that by integrating the processor as well as LTE modem and selling them as a single package Qualcomm is able to compete on price compared to Exynos
  • michael2k - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    There is nothing to brag about, as per ARM:

    On the same process in 32 bit mode there is only a 15% to 30% improvement in performance. The article you're replying too even says this chip may never boot into 64 bit mode, even when Android L becomes available. It's not that they are capping the 5433, it's that they haven't gone through the trouble of testing in 64 bit because Android L isn't out yet. I bet they will release a new SoC after Android L is released. They did it before with their first Exynos 5410, which suffered from a cache coherency bug that negatively impacted performance and battery life, but was fixed with the 5420. I expect an updated 64 bit SoC early next year with higher clock and switched on 64 bit mode.
  • lilmoe - Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - link

    "The article you're replying too even says this chip may never boot into 64 bit mode, even when Android L becomes available"

    That's a pretty confident assumption. With all due respect to Andrei, he was also confident about his assumption that Exynos 5433 was 32 bit. I seriously wouldn't be in a hurry to make another similar assumption if I was him.

    Everyone is assuming that Samsung didn't make any adjustments in their new chips except for the die shirnk. I have no idea on what ground they're basing their opinions on. But even if it was true, isn't that exactly what Intel has been doing for years in their "tic" updates? Why is Samsung considered a culprit now?
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - link

    I didn't make assumptions about the 5433, I had hard evidence that were pointing out to A15/A7 cores. That Samsung would *fake* their software stack to make the chip appear as a A15/A7 is something completely different which nobody could have predicted.
  • jjj - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    Can't wait for some numbers.
    The clocks do seem rather low, makes you wonder if it's a choice or the process is not allowing more than that.
  • banvetor - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    Are you sure about the Samsung 20nm process? I thought that Samsung was skipping 20nm and going directly to 14nm... At least comparing with TSMC processes, where 16nm is "just" the addition of finfets with 20nm metalization.

    In my opinion this chip is either Samsung 14nm or TSMC 20nm, but of course I could be wrong... ;)
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    Yes. The voltages point out to a 20nm chip.
  • Achtung_BG - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    Samsung USA fab S2 Austin -> 20nm ->14nm, fab S1 SK Gi Heung ->14nmLPE, fab S3 SK Hwa Seong -> 14nmLPE. Exynos 7 use custom core in 14nmLPP.

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