Published in Mobiles

Samsung wants 64-bit CPUs, 4K mobile displays

by on08 November 2013

In the next few years

Samsung has revealed quite a few things about its plans over the next few years at its last Samsung Analyst Day 2013. It clearly wanted to show that it has what it needs to compete with Apple, but also Google. A part of the presentation was the picture of Samsung glasses, the first smartwatch is already out, but it’s not exactly a big success. Of course Samsung will have cool processors and displays to come.

When it comes to processors it currently works on two new 64-bit ARM based mobile processors. One is based on the existing ARM 64-bit instruction set and this one will come soon, possibly in 2014 with the Galaxy S5 and it should be based on A57 or A53 cores, or both in a big.LITTLE configuration. We have to remind you that 64-bit makes sense once you start using more than 4GB of memory as you need 64-bit instructions to be able to address more than 2 to the power of 32 bites (4294967296 bites) or roughly 4 Gigabytes. However, properly optimized 64-bit SoCs can also deliver more performance, as illustrated by Apple’s Cyclone core.

The second Samsung 64-bit core comes in the form of a Samsung custom core that we know little about. Samsung obviously wants to compete with Apple, Qualcomm and at some point Nvidia, companies that have their own custom CPU cores or they are working on them, like Nvidia’s Project Denver. Qualcomm is without a doubt working on 64-bit chip, but let me underline it again, this makes sense only if you need more than 4GB of RAM. It took Windows years to transition to 64-bit, and the process was plagued with driver issues and the general mess with 32- and 64-bit applications that need to coexist for years to come. It won't be easy for Android and ARM, either.


The other new developments are higher than HD mobile screens. Samsung promises 560 PPI smartphone screen and at larger than 5-inch they can pack as many as 2560x1440 pixels. We saw a similar resolution in the first generation Nexus 10 tablet and apparently it will make its move to mobile phones as well. We don’t think it’s necessary but once we see it live, we will definitely be mesmerized with the pixel density and the fact it is ought to look great. This is 2014 and such display may even debut with the Galaxy S5 or Note 4, but we expect all the competitors to have them as well.

By 2015 Samsung promises 4K smartphone displays. That is 3840x2160 (UHD) and we don’t even have to point out how pointless such displays sound, but then again the market will probably like it. Just a few years ago we were happy to have 480x800 displays on a 4-inch phones, but 2009 is ancient history now.

We went from the “coolest ever” 800x480 displays and Apple’s iPhone 4 retina to 1920x1080 in the space of less than four years. Samsung also talks about bendable phones in 2014 and curved phones are just started to happen. I’m not sure that I would need curved phone but people like to bend things so this future trend might work, although truly flexible phones are years away.

The future is now clear. After 2015, probably much later, Samsung should come up with foldable smartphone displays and this is the one that will keep our eyes excited. Unfortunately it is just too far in the future.

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Last modified on 08 November 2013
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