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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  • Exophase - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    Samsung themselves say that Exynos 5430 is 20nm:

    No reason why 5433 can't be as well. No way are they using TSMC for their own SoCs. Note they didn't strike 20nm off the list here:
  • JoshHo - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    Remember, 14nm Samsung is also a 14nm FinFET process with 20nm BEOL. This means area gains don't scale as much compared to Intel's 14nm process.
  • Krysto - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    > The Exynos 5433 is definitely a surprise that many didn't expect

    Um, no. Note 4 using Exynos 5433, which is a 64-bit chip has been rumored for months. Also, the fact that it's Cortex A57/A53 on 20nm and with Mali T760 was known weeks ago, too.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    At this time last year the 5430 was rumored to be a 64bit 14nm chip shipping in the Galaxy S5. Rumours don't always pan out and there's a lot of misinformation being reported as fact by many.
  • lilo777 - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    Most likely it just did not make any sense for Samsung to waste their efforts on 64-bit support in the absence of 64-bit Android. Also, given the circumstances aren't they actually getting the best technical solution where the performance of new CPU benefits from having new architecture (more registers?) without OS/apps having to waste memory on 64-bit pointers (with RAM being smaller than 4GB anyways)
  • redtfsi - Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - link

    You are writing: The chip's firmware and drivers are running on a "CAL".
    So I suppose it is not hardware limitation.
    Could this change when they (or someone else) update their firmware, so that it becomes 64bit capable?
  • darkich - Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - link

    Soo, some of us were right and AT was wrong..

    Man this chip might actually make me buy the Note 4 since it already basically is what I expected and wanted in the Note 5 - a truly future proof 20nm A5x Mali T760 SoC.

    The Snapdragon 805 was barely an improvement over the Note 3's Snapdragon 800AB on 1080p, but this is an entirely different beast.

    If tests show that this chip isn't crippled by its initial release status, I'll be almost half a year ahead of competition.
  • tuxRoller - Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - link

    Not sure how great that Mali (judging from the AT article and improvements made to adreno) will be but those those big.LITTLE cores look incredible.
  • patbean - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Dose anyone think the gap will be filled with an exynos 6xx with A7/A17 cores and Mali 760 at say 14nm to round off the 32bit range. For devices that will never havev more than 4gb of ram. Or have we seen the end of 32bit from samsung?
  • TaiHT - Friday, December 26, 2014 - link

    Any chance Samsung will update chip's firmware to support 64-bit when Android L is out for Note 4?

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