What’s next for Samsung smartphones?

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The samsung galaxy s2 is the world’s best selling smartphone and an upgraded phone, the Samsung Galaxy S3 will be announced over the coming months. This will have a bigger and brighter display with improved resolution, a faster processor as the 1.2 GHz twin processor of the Galaxy S2 will be upgraded to atwin 1.5 GHz processor, and it is rumoured that the plastic and metal construction of the S2 will be replaced by a ceramic case (though isn’t ceramic too brittle?).

These improvements should keep Samsung ahead of the game even when the Apple iPhone 5 is launched, but really these are refinements rather than a revolutionary change. Samsung has always been a pioneer in consumer electronics, and in various laboratories around the world Samsung scientists are working on the next generation of smartphones.

The problem with smartphones is that the faster and more sophisticated they get, the greater the drain on the battery. There is a direct relationship between processor speed and the waste heat that is generated and that is why your phone battery runs down so quickly. Mobile phones with twin or even quad 4 GHz, 6GHz and even faster processors are feasible but with current technology they would fry.

There are two approaches to these problems and Samsung is working at both. The first is to produce smaller geometries within the microprocessors and to integrate components using SOC (silicon on chip) technologies. Samsung already use SOC, and are currently working on further down-scaling and stacking components in 3D arrays.

Another approach they are looking at is called “Dark Silicon”. Essentially this means only using part of the chip at any one time and only when it is required. When is it not needed it is powered down.

A combination of these technologies should enable Samsung to produce smartphones that are 4 to 6 times as fast as the S3. They won’t be the only smartphone company to do this, but they are quite likely to be one of the first.

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