Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

Samsung to outline 8-core big.LITTLE ARM processor in February

Samsung's processor design team has been on a roll with fast chips this year with the Exynos 4 Quad and Exynos 5 Dual. Based on its agenda for the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, that momentum isn't about to stop. A company presentation at the event on February 19th will delve into a new heterogeneous, 8-core processor that relies on ARM's concept of big.LITTLE computing: one half is a quad-core, 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A15 that will do all the heavy lifting, while the other is a quad 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 that takes over in quieter moments. We don't know much more about the chip beyond the expected 28-nanometer manufacturing process, but it's easy to see a mobile chip that's fast without having to consume much energy in its downtime. Most of the mystery surrounds where Samsung will launch the processor first, rather than what it can do: the big.LITTLE chip would be most valuable in a smartphone, but a potentially large size could relegate it to tablets early on.