LG Optimus G2 expected to launch with Odin eight-core processor

LG is working on an eight-core mobile processor for its upcoming Optimus G2 smartphone - which could potentially rival Samsung's Exynos 5 chip

25 Feb 2013
LG Optimus G

LG has confirmed it is working on a high-end smartphone and tablet processor designed to offer real competition to the Exynos 5 Octa chip from rival Samsung - and that it will appear in the upcoming Optimus G2.

While Samsung has yet to confirm rumours that its eight-core Exynos 5 Octa processor will power the Galaxy S4 smartphone, LG isn't being quite so coy: speaking to local news outlet Korea Times, an LG spokesperson confirmed that its own processor, codenamed Odin, will be found in the next-generation Optimus G2 smartphone when it launches later this year.

Like Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa, the LG Odin processor is based on the big.LITTLE concept developed by Cambridge-based chip designer ARM. In a big.LITTLE processor, four high-performance processing cores are joined by four extremely low-power processing cores; when the smartphone or tablet is doing a processor-intensive task, such as playing a game or compressing a high-definition video stream, the four high-performance cores are activated; when only light CPU tasks are active, such as web browsing or making a phone call, the high-performance cores are switched off in favour of the low-power cores. The result is a device which offers significantly improved battery life without sacrificing performance.

While Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa and LG's Odin chips will be the first mobile processors to feature an eight ARM core design, the concept of including lower-power cores to save battery life isn't new: Nvidia's Tegra 3 and Tegra 4 processors both include what the company calls a "battery saving core" - a single low-power processor core designed to handle background tasks.

While previous rumours had suggested the Optimus G2 would receive a quad-core processor, LG's announcement points to a later launch than the claimed May unveiling combined with a more powerful eight-core processor - and with the new generation of big.LITTLE processors promising significant improvements over current-generation chips, that may be something for which it is worth waiting.

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