Samsung 1GHz Orion Cortex A9 CPU plus performance flash and 5MP/14.6MP CMOS chips outed

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Samsung told us they were planning a whole family of Galaxy Tab slates, and having seen the company's component news this morning we're now pretty excited at what those tablets might offer.  Samsung Electronics has outed its 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 "Orion" processor, a dual-core chip with five-times the 3D crunching abilities of its predecessor, together with high-performance 8-gigabyte (GB) and 16GB moviNAND flash memory and a pair of back-illuminated CMOS chips for mobile devices, shooting either 5-megapixel or 14.6-megapixel stills.

The Samsung Orion obviously supports Full HD 1080p – both encode and decode – with an HDMI 1.3a output that can be concurrently run while the Cortex A9 chip simultaneously drives two onboard displays.  There's also an embedded GPS receiver, and Samsung will be offering two versions of Orion: one stacked with memory and another, smaller, with just the chip itself.  Sampling will take place in Q4 2010, with mass production in the first half of next year.

As for the NAND flash, Samsung expect to begin producing 16GB moviNAND using 20nm-class 32Gb NAND flash later in September, and then will begin replacing its existing 30nm-class 32Gb chips with 20nm-class chips later in the year.

Finally, both CMOS chips – the S5K4E5 and S5K2N1 - support 30fps video capture, and Samsung reckons the back-illuminated design takes in 30-percent more light than regular chips.  The S5K4E5 will be headed to smartphones and other portable devices, while the S5K2N1 is targeted more at digital video cameras; mass production will start in Q4 2010 and Q1 2011 respectively.

Press Release:

Samsung Introduces High Performance, Low Power Dual CORTEXTM – A9 Application Processor for Mobile Devices

TAIPEI, Taiwan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today introduced its new 1GHz ARM® CORTEXTM A9-based dual-core application processor, codenamed Orion, for advanced mobile applications. Device OEM developers now have a powerful dual processor chip platform designed specifically to meet the needs of high-performance, low-power mobile applications including tablets, netbooks and smartphones. Samsung's new processor will be demonstrated at the seventh annual Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum held here in Taiwan at the Westin Taipei Hotel.

"Consumers are demanding the full web experience without compromise while on the go," said Dojun Rhee, vice president of Marketing, System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics. "Given this trend, mobile device designers need an application processor platform that delivers superb multimedia performance, fast CPU processing speed, and abundant memory bandwidth. Samsung's newest dual core application processor chip is designed specifically to fulfill such stringent performance requirements while maintaining long battery life."

Designed using Samsung's 45 nanometer low-power process technology, Orion features a pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores, each comes with a 32KB data cache and a 32KB instruction cache. Samsung also included a 1MB L2 cache to optimize CPU processing performance and provide fast context switching in a multi-tasking environment. In addition, the memory interface and bus architecture of Orion supports data intensive multimedia applications including full HD video playback and high speed 3D action games.

Samsung's new application processor incorporates a rich portfolio of advanced multimedia features implemented by hardware accelerators, such as video encoder/decoder that supports 30fps video playback and recording at 1080P full HD resolution. Using an enhanced graphics processing unit (GPU), the new processors are capable of delivering 5 times the 3D graphics performance over the previous processor generation from Samsung.

For design flexibility and system BOM cost reduction, Orion integrates a set of interfaces commonly used in mobile devices to configure various peripheral functionalities. For example, with this processor, customers have the choice to use different types of storage including NAND flash, moviNANDTM, SSD or HDD providing both SATA, and eMMC interfaces. Customers can also choose their appropriate memory options including low power LPDDR2 or DDR3, which is commonly used for high performance. In addition, a global positioning system (GPS) receiver baseband processor is embedded in the processor to seamlessly support location based services (LBS), which is critical in many emerging mobile applications.

Orion features an onboard native triple display controller architecture that compliments multi-tasking operations in a multiple display environment. A mobile device using the Orion processor can simultaneously support two on-device display screens, while driving a third external display such as a TV or a monitor, via an on-chip HDMI 1.3a interface.

Orion is designed to support package-on-package (POP) with memory stacking to reduce the footprint. A derivative of Orion, which is housed in a standalone package with a 0.8mm ball pitch, is also available.

Samsung's new dual-core application processor, Orion, will be available to select customers in the fourth quarter of 2010 and is scheduled for mass production in the first half of 2011.

Press Release:

Samsung Introduces Higher-performance Embedded NAND Flash for Smartphones

TAIPEI, Taiwan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today introduced high-performance 8-gigabyte (GB) and 16GB moviNAND™ embedded memory chips for use in smartphones at the seventh annual Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum held here at the Westin Taipei Hotel. The new solutions are the first memory devices in the industry fully compatible with the latest e-MMC specification, the JEDEC's Embedded MultiMediaCard Product Standard v4.41.

"These solutions are consistent with our commitment to provide a diversity of technologies for embedded memory to enhance its user-friendliness, in contributing to the rapid growth of the smartphone market."

Adopting the new higher performance e-MMC 4.41 specification, Samsung's moviNAND can operate more efficiently than previous solutions developed under the e-MMC 4.4 specification by providing features that improve the responsiveness of the e-MMC device to the host (or application processor).

"We have already been providing new moviNAND solutions compatible with e-MMC v4.41 to a few key customers and getting a very positive response from them," said Seijin Kim, vice president, Flash Memory Planning/Enabling, Samsung Electronics. "These solutions are consistent with our commitment to provide a diversity of technologies for embedded memory to enhance its user-friendliness, in contributing to the rapid growth of the smartphone market."

Previously the e-MMC 4.4 interface has offered designers the flexibility of partitioning storage, such as using the single-level cell (SLC) area for high speed operations and the multi-level cell (MLC) area for high density data storage. Now, the new chips (adhering to the new e-MMC 4.41 interface standard) provide a significantly upgraded user experience, with a high priority interrupt (HPI) and improved background operation features.

Embracing the new standardized features, the latest Samsung moviNAND chips enable more efficient processing of orders. If the host wants to execute an application or read data while the e-MMC device is writing data, the host can send an HPI command to the device so that the device stops previous writing to respond to the newest command. Using this feature, the host can receive the device's response without any latency.

Also, when the Samsung embedded memory is not in operation, the host can command it to utilize the free time for background operations such as garbage compaction, so that the embedded memory can reduce the write latency.

In addition to its new high-performance moviNAND, Samsung is introducing ultra-thin five chip MCP (multi-chip package) solutions which measure just 1 millimeter (mm), a significant reduction over current four-chip MCPs that are 1.15mm in height (z-height). The moviNAND-based MCP will be available in combination with mobile DRAM. The advanced multipurpose MCP offerings will be available by the end of this year for use in mobile applications with high multimedia workload such as smartphones.

Samsung already started producing 8GB moviNAND, using 30 nanometer (nm) class 32-gigabit (Gb) NAND flash chips in late July, and will start producing 16GB moviNAND using 20nm-class 32Gb NAND flash this month.

Samsung plans to start replacing its 30nm-class 32Gb NAND flash chips with a full line of 20nm-class 32Gb NAND chips for future moviNAND products later this year.

Press Release:

Samsung Demonstrates New CMOS Imagers with Back Side Illumination Technology for Mobile Devices

TAIPEI, Taiwan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced two new 1.4 micron CMOS imagers, the S5K4E5 and S5K2N1, adopting back side illuminated (BSI) pixel technology. With excellent performance capabilities in low light scenarios, each imager is optimized for target applications such as smartphones for the S5K4E5 and digital still cameras (DSC) and digital video cameras (DVC) for the S5K2N1. Samsung's newest CMOS imagers will be demonstrated today at the seventh annual Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum held here in Taiwan at the Westin Taipei Hotel.

"The demand for higher quality images and video with ever shrinking pixel size has pushed the new technology innovation curve in CMOS imagers," said Dojun Rhee, vice president of Marketing, System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics. "As such, CMOS image technology has become even more competitive in digital camera and video products that have been traditionally dominated by CCD technology. A small pixel size combined with best-in-class sensitivity under low light for still and video capture makes Samsung's newest imagers ideal for traditional handheld cameras as well as smartphones."

In contrast to the front side illumination technology, backside illumination collects photons from the backside of the pixel. The reversed structure moves the photodiode to the top maximizing photoelectric efficiency as the light is not scattered through the metal wiring and dielectric layers, which cause the loss of photons. Adoption of the BSI technology addresses the low light sensitivity concern common to CMOS image sensors as the pixel size reduces.

Samsung's new BSI imagers show 30 percent enhancement in low light sensitivity over conventional front side illumination imagers of the same pixel size. By optimizing process parameters, Samsung was able to efficiently control crosstalk thereby improving the color, electrical and optical performance significantly.

The S5K4E5, a quarter-inch optical format 1.4 micron 5 megapixel (Mp) CMOS image sensor, is designed to support full resolution real-time video. By providing 30 frames per second (fps) full resolution frame rates it also enables the user to 'catch the shot' by capturing the frame as the user hits the shutter button thus reducing shot to shot lag time. The 5Mp imager has a wider chief ray angle that reduces the height of the imager package making it attractive for slim, small form factor smartphones with demanding z-height requirements.

The S5K2N1, a 1/2.33 inch optical format 1.4 micron 14.6Mp imager, offers 30fps capability at full resolution and leverages Samsung's low-power 90 nanometer logic process technology. Samsung is able to offer a dedicated thermal enhanced plastic lead ceramic carrier (TePLCC) package to more effectively dissipate the heat generated by the high performance device.

These imagers also offer the ability to capture full high definition (HD) resolution video images at 60fps.

Samples of the 5Mp S5K4E5 are available now with mass production starting in the fourth quarter of this year. The 14.6Mp S5K2N1 is expected to start sampling in the fourth quarter of 2010 with production scheduled in the first quarter of 2011.