Samsung's just announced the newest and fastest version of its Exynos mobile processor. The 4212 is a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 clocked to 1.5GHz, built using a 32mn process that makes it 30 percent more efficient and 25 percent faster than the 4210. Last year's model was capable of many impressive feats, but its 3D abilities were hampered by the limits imposed by its HDMI 1.3 controller. The new boy gets version 1.4 and hence the freedom to run stereoscopic imagery at an impressive 70fps. The chips will be available in Q4 of this year, but only to "select customers" who -- we guess -- look after Mr and Mrs. Samsung's cats over the holidays. The chip comes too late for the Galaxy S II LTE but we can expect to see it in future superphones before too long.

At the same time, the company released a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor designed for mobile devices. It can shoot stills at the quoted figure and is theoretically capable of 30fps video at around half that, although we're unlikely to see a device that can record 8 megapixel video in the near future. If you hadn't guessed, "select customers" will get their extra-polite hands on the Samsung S5K2P1 in November, other OEMs will have to wait outside, in the snow. Of course, as everyone knows, it's not about how big your megapixel count is, it's what you do with 'em that really counts.

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Samsung's New 16-Megapixel CMOS Image Sensor Features High-Resolution Sensitivity and Performance for Advanced Mobile Applications

Taipei, Taiwan on Sep 29, 2011 Taipei, Taiwan - September 29, 2011 : Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced its new 1/2.3-inch 16 Megapixel (Mp) CMOS image sensor - the S5K2P1 - with Samsung's advanced 1.34 micrometer (um) backside illumination (BSI) pixel technology. This 16Mp resolution imager is designed for high-performance, advanced smartphones as well as digital still cameras and camcorders. Samsung unveiled its new imager technology, including the S5K2P1, at the eighth annual Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum held at the Westin Taipei.

"As the adoption rate of CMOS image sensors in the digital still camera market increases, market demand for imagers such as the S5K2P1, which provides clear and fast video, is expected to grow in 2012," said Dojun Rhee, vice president of System LSI marketing, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics. "Introducing advanced high-resolution imagers based on BSI pixel technology supports further adoption of Samsung CMOS imagers to compact digital camera and camcorder applications."

Samsung's S5K2P1 is an image sensor optimized for compact mobile CE devices, with excellent image quality in video mode. Supporting multiple interfaces, this image sensor is also suited for premium smartphones. The S5K2P1 sensor supports a native 16:9 format video at up to 8.3Mp resolution at 60 frames per second and maximum 16 Megapixel-resolution for point-and-shoot images at 30 frames per second without shutter lag effect.

Using Samsung's advanced 1.34um BSI pixel technology, the S5K2P1 delivers excellent sensitivity and low-noise performances. The S5K2P1 also provides brighter and more vivid pictures even at night and dark indoor conditions.

According to market research firm TSR (Techno System Research), the digital still camera market is expected to reach 154 million units in 2012 where a substantial portion of up to 48.2 percent is forecast to be adoption of CMOS image sensors as the main sensor device.

Samsung's S5K2P1 image sensor is currently sampling to select customers. Mass production for this imager is scheduled for November 2011.


Samsung Unveils its Next High-Performance Application Processor for Smartphone and Tablet Devices

Taipei, Taiwan on Sep 29, 2011 Taipei, Taiwan - September 29, 2011 : Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced the latest addition to its Exynos product family - the Exynos 4212 - a dual core ARM Cortex™-A9 application processor, designed on Samsung's advanced 32nm High-K Metal Gate (HK/MG) low-power process. With best-in-class performance, the dual-core Exynos 4212 offers mobile device systems architects a new solution designed to support a high-quality user-experience and energy-efficient requirements of smartphones and tablet devices. Samsung's new Exynos application processor is displayed at the eighth annual Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum held at the Westin Taipei.

"As innovative technologies appear on the mobile landscape, the market continues to embrace further developments and performance acceleration in mobile computing," said Seh-Woong Jeong, executive vice president of System LSI sales & marketing, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics. "Samsung is addressing this trend with its powerful low-power Exynos family of processors based on its proven design technology and cutting-edge process technology for performance and power improvements at the system level."

Leveraging its deep sub-micron expertise in high-performance/low-power technology, Samsung designed the Exynos 4212 on its 32nm low-power HKMG logic process technology with dual Cortex-A9 cores. Samsung's 32nm HKMG process node is specifically tuned to offer a competitive, cutting-edge platform with double the logic density and a 30 percent lower power-level over the previous process generation.

In addition to the 25 percent increase in processing power, the new processor features an enhanced graphics processing unit (GPU) that is capable of delivering 50 percent higher 3D graphics performance over the previous processor generation from Samsung.

The Exynos 4212 incorporates a rich portfolio of advanced codec accelerators that support digital still images, video recording and play-back at 1080p full-HD resolution, an image signal processor and an on-chip HDMI 1.4 interface.

Samsung's new Exynos 4212 application processor will be sampling to select customers in Q4 2011.

Samsung also launched a new website dedicated to its Exynos family of application processors. Designed to facilitate easy communication with industry partners and end users, the new micro site offers detailed product and event information as well as user experiences. More information can be found at www.samsung.com/exynos

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Samsung releases 1.5GHz Exynos processor and 16MP CMOS for mobiles, if you're nice