Samsung has announced an improved version of their Exynos 5 Octa chipset for smartphones and tablets, introducing for the first time a six-core ARM Mali-T628 GPU, which Samsung claims will offer double the performance of the PowerVR SGX544MP3 used in the previous model. Aside from the graphics performance improvements, Samsung has also increased the clock speed of both the ARM Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 quad-cores to 1.8 GHz and 1.3 GHz respectively, bringing 20% better performance.

The new Exynos 5 Octa 5420 still utilizes ARM's big.LITTLE configuration, which sees the higher-powered Cortex-A15 cores used for CPU intensive tasks, while the Cortex-A7s are used for lower-intensity tasks with an aim of reducing battery drain. Despite how the chipset has eight cores in total, only four can be used at once as the SoC fluidly switches between A15 and A7 cores depending on the workload.

Samsung also increased the memory bandwidth in the new Exynos 5 Octa SoC, bringing 14.9 GB/s through 933 MHz dual-channel LPDDR3, adding support for "full HD Wifi display" and 1080p video recording at 60 frames per second. The 5420 sees lower power consumption as well, thanks to a new multiple image compression (MIC) IP block that optimizes power efficiency when shifting multimedia from the memory to the display.

Samples of the Exynos 5 Octa 5420 have been made available to customers, while mass-production of the chipset should occur in August.

The previous version of the Exynos 5 Octa, the 5410, was only seen in some models of the Samsung Galaxy S4 such as the GT-I9500, and provided similar performance compared to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 used in other models, albeit with less battery life. With the Galaxy Note III expected for release later this year, we could see the Exynos 5 Octa 5420 first appear inside the stylus-equipped smartphone/phablet.