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The processor of the Samsung Galaxy S4

Posted on 18 March 2013

Introducing The New Samsung Galaxy S4

What does it do?

The processor of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a 1.9 GHz Snapdragon 600 quad core processor. The processor is what powers the phone, like the engines on a plane. The processor inside the S4, is pretty special - it has four cores on one chip. This is the equivalent to a jet having four engines, giving the phone more power. It means the Galaxy S4 can run high powered games, have multiple apps open and on screen at once, like playing a movie while displaying maps, and makes it quick and easy to flick from screen to screen. The cores also vary their speed, a rarity in mobile processors. So, they'll be working together at maximum power for games, HD video recording and anything that needs speed. For handling everyday tasks, like messaging, only one or two cores will fire, and will run at slower speeds, meaning the phone uses less power, saving you battery life.

What is it for?

Power and energy efficiency. All those cores add up to a phone that is ideal for high end 3D games, as well as apps that enable HD video editing and anything else that requires a lot of processing. It also helps the phone to be instantly responsive no matter how many apps and internet pages you've got open. The power of the chip also makes all the Samsung Galaxy S4's features possible such as Dual Camera, Group Play and Adapt Display. The way the processor varies how fast the cores are working is what helps to keep energy consumption down. If this didn't happen, the phone would have to use the energy hungry cores at full power, even just typing a one word text. With the cores running slower, they're plenty fast enough for small jobs, but use less energy, and because there are four of them, they can handle some pretty complex tasks, so only the really complex stuff requires large amounts of battery power to be used.

How does it work?

The processor in the S4 has many cores inside it. The cores are like engines, and they work together to perform tasks. The quad-core processor inside the S4 has four cores. What's clever about using multiple cores in one processor is that they become more than the sum of their parts. That is to say that a four core processor is faster and more powerful than four individual processors with one core each. Confused? Well think of a football team. One team has great players, but they don't seem to know each other and don't work together. The other team has players that maybe aren't as talented, but they communicate perfectly and work for each other. The second team will win.

That's not all. The processor has been overclocked, or turbo charged. This refers to the 1.9GHz of the processor. Normally the Snapdragon chip would run at 1.5GHz or 1.7GHz, but that 0.2GHz extra gives it more power, just like turbo charging an engine. It also uses something called proprietary power-saving SMP architecture. This is a clever technology that means the processor is smart enough to work out what tasks you're performing on the phone, and how much processing power is required. It'll then work out whether to fire up a core at a lower speed, or use a core at the full 1.9GHz. It'll also know whether it needs, say, two cores at 1GHz each for attaching a photo to an email, or all four cores at full power because you're playing Grand Theft Auto. This means you have all the power you need when you need it, but also just enough power to carry out any tasks flawlessly. This is what keeps battery efficiency up - the Samsung Galaxy S4 will only use as much energy as it requires with no waste.