It would appear that Samsung is looking to assault the mobile market this year, with no less than three announcements of new technologies it hopes will help its smartphones stand out from the competition.
First up is the announcement of new 8GB and 16GB moviNAND embedded memory chips, which Samsung claims are the industry's first to offer full compatibility with the JEDEC Embedded MultiMediaCard Product Standard v4.41.
Samsung's latest memory chips offer a higher performance than prior releases along with, the company claims, "a significantly upgraded user experience, with [...] improved background operation features
" and a high-priority interrupt feature that allows the host to demand that the memory chips respond to its requests right damn now
, bumping the current operation back in the queue.
Chips based around the new technology are already in production, with 30nm-based 8GB chips available now and 20nm-based 16GB chips due later this month.
Samsung's next announcement is of a new ARM Cortex processor, dubbed Orion. Based around a 45nm process, Orion offers a pair of ARM Cortex A9 cores clocked at 1GHz and features 32KB of data cache, 32KB of instruction cache, and 1MB of shared L2 cache.
An enhanced GPU allows Orion to both playback and record HD video in 1080p at 30fps, while 3D performance gets a claimed five-fold improvement over previous generation Samsung processors. The chip also includes support for triple displays: two on-board screens can be driven simultaneously with a HDMI 1.3a output to an external monitor or TV. A GPS receiver is also included on-board as standard.
Unlike the new moviNAND memory, you'll have to wait a while to see Orion in your next smartphone – mass production isn't due until the first half of 2011.
Finally, Samsung has announced a pair of new 1.4 micron CMOS imagers that support back-side illumination technology, allowing higher-quality still images and video to be taken in low-light conditions with a claimed 30 per cent enhancement in light sensitivity over traditional front-side illumination.
Both a smartphone variant, the five megapixel S5K4E5, and a version designed for use in high-definition camcorders, the 14.6 megapixel S5K2N1, are planned. The S5K4E5 will hit mass production by the end of the year, while the S5K2N1 won't be available until early next year.
All these planned improvements add up to one thing: Samsung is likely to be bringing out a pretty impressive handset around the middle of next year.
Are you pleased to see Samsung making these incremental improvements in mobile technology, or does the market need something dramatically different before you'll get excited? Share your thoughts over in the forums.