What's the holdup with Samsung Galaxy S4's Exynos 5 Octa version?
Posted: 01 Apr 2013, 04:55, by Daniel P.
"What's the holdup? Well, it turns out that Samsung went with the simpler and cheaper way to design 28nm chips like the Exynos 5 Octa, called gate-first, while the competing foundry TSMC designed its production capacity with the harder to implement gate-last process, developed by Intel. The problem stems from the fact that gate-first might be easier to transition to, but gives yield problems later on, especially with complex SoCs, and that's exactly what seems to be happening with Exynos 5 Octa."
"Long story short, it might be a while before Samsung ramps up enough 28nm yield for Exynos 5 Octa to be implemented on a broader scale throughout its portfolio of mobile gadgets. Granted, only performance geeks would care about the benchmark difference between the Snapdragon 600 and Exynos 5 Octa chips, as today's mobile processors are already more powerful than Android needs, but this little episode might be a hint that the touted 14nm and even 20nm chips that Samsung says it has tapped out already, might remain in the labs longer than we thought, of which the main beneficiary will likely be TSMC, exactly where Apple is heading to build its proprietary A6 and A7 chipsets."