Samsung may have its hands full with Note7 fires and washing machines that might spin until they explode, but some things are still going according to plan for the Korean electronics giant. The company's mobile chip division continues to churn out compelling products. The Exynos 7 Dual 7270 system-on-a-chip is what the company calls the first application processor (AP) built on a 14-nm process, and also the first AP with an integrated LTE modem.
The 7270 contains a pair of ARM Cortex-A53 cores, a Cat.4 LTE modem, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and FM radio and GNSS receivers. The chip is produced using what Samsung calls "system-in-package-embedded package-on-package" (SiP-ePOP) technology. The AP itself, the DRAM, NAND flash memory, and power management circuits are all housed in the same package. According to Samsung, the entire package measures 100 mm2 and takes 30% less vertical space compared to previous-generation chips. The manufacturer also says the 7270 has 20% greater power efficiency when compared to previous-generation 28-nm processors.
According to Samsung, the 7270 is designed for wearable devices, a product class where the decreased size and increased power efficiency offered by 14-nm fabrication are especially important. The Exynos 7270 could allow a smartwatch to make telephone calls or a fitness tracker to have GPS capabilities, all without the need for an accompanying smartphone.
Samsung is now offering a development kit to device manufacturers that includes an Exynos 7 Dual 7270 AP, NFC gear, and "various sensors." There's no word yet on actual consumer products built around the new chip.