Samsung’s latest Galaxy Alpha isn’t just the first Galaxy device with a metal frame – it is also the first smartphone to feature Samsung’s latest Exynos 5430 chipset, which is also the world’s first System-on-Chip (SoC) that is built on the 20nm manufacturing process.
An update to Samsung’s Exynos 5420 and 5422 chipsets, the new Exynos SoC isn’t much different from the two older chipsets, with the only exception being the smaller die, which presumably offers better efficiency. This octa-core chipset features four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 cores with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP), which allows all eight cores to be used simultaneously.
In addition, the clock speeds for each core remains unchanged compared to the Exynos 5420: the Exynos 5430 runs at 1.7GHz for the Cortex-A15 cores and 1.3GHz for the Cortex-A7 cores. But, the Mali T628 MP6 has had a slight boost to 600MHz.
Finally, the Exynos 5430 also introduces a new Cortex-A5 co-processor specifically for audio decoding. This co-processor is called “Seiren” and is tasked with handling all audio-related processes, from decoding audio codecs to voice recognition and – more interestingly – voice-triggered device wake-up.
While the Galaxy Alpha is the first Galaxy smartphone to feature the Exynos 5430 chipset, Samsung is also releasing a variant powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 for selected markets. At the moment, Samsung has not yet shared more details on the Galaxy Alpha rollout for the two variants, though we can confirm that at least one of the variants is coming to Malaysia.