One of the things that Samsung’s spring refresh of Galaxy Book laptops did not bring was its highly anticipated notebook powered by its own Exynos 2200 system-on-chip. Industry sources now claim that the first laptop with Exynos inside is due in the second half of the year, and the same sources say Samsung is considering using the SoC in smartphones too.
Samsung’s Exynos 2200 system-on-chip will be the company’s first SoC to use a custom GPU based on AMD’s RDNA architecture. The Exynos 2200 will be made using Samsung’s 5LPE (5nm) fabrication process and will likely rely on numerous technologies already used for the Exynos 2100. Since the Exynos 2100 uses one Cortex-X1, three Cortex-A78, and four Cortex-A55 cores, its designed-for-notebooks counterpart should feature higher general-purpose performance. That will likely come by integrating more X1 cores, or just clocking existing cores higher, as well as some other enhancements.
“The new Exynos will offer improved functions, including extraordinary computing power and battery efficiency, by utilizing a 5-nanometer processing technology,” an industrial source told The Korea Economic Daily. “It’s good for both laptops and smartphones.”
Installing a high-performance laptop-grade SoC into a smartphone has its rationale if one wants to offer ultimate performance in a handset and beat all gaming handsets available on the market today. But this is going to come at a cost and may not bring the desired result.
The Exynos 2200 is optimized for performance, so it’s expected to be considerably larger than the Exynos 2100. That means higher costs and higher power consumption. A larger die size and higher power consumption will make it harder to fit into smartphones, as it will require a more complicated power delivery, which enlarges PCB footprint. Higher power consumption also means less battery life, for the same size battery.
SoCs for notebooks are optimized for burst performance. They typically run at very high clocks for relatively short periods of time, getting the ‘heavy work’ done as quickly as possible, and then go back to sleep. Such ‘bursty’ behavior is possible because notebooks can cool their CPUs down with their relatively powerful cooling systems. By contrast, smartphones have different thermals, so running an SoC at extreme clocks isn’t possible, which to a large degree negates their advantages.
Samsung has not confirmed specifications of its upcoming Exynos 2200 or its plans for the SoC, so take all this unofficial information with a grain of salt.