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Report: Samsung Exynos 8890 with custom CPU for the Galaxy S7
Rumors about Samsung designing its own CPU and GPU parts certainly aren’t new, but the latest report from Korea has once again brought the subject to the fore. According to anonymous industry sources, Samsung is preparing to mass produce its Exynos 8890 chip in time for the launch of the Galaxy S7. Interestingly, the SoC is said to feature a custom CPU core designed by Samsung itself.
Apparently, the custom core is known as the M1. We don’t have any specific details about the CPU, but it will surely be based on the ARMv8 architecture, just like custom processors designed by Apple and Qualcomm’s upcoming Kryo CPU. The Exynos 8890 will be mass produced at Samsung’s Giheung plant starting December, at the latest.
“Designing its own mobile core will allow Samsung, which produces both smartphones and semiconductors, to gain competitive edge over Apple and Qualcomm in reducing cost and optimizing chip products for smartphones.” – anonymous industry official
Mention of an Exynos 8890 SoC destined for the Galaxy S7 originally appeared back in September via benchmarks. This listing suggests that the processor will feature eight custom ARMv8 CPU cores and the latest reports mention a peak clock speed around 2.3GHz, although none of this has been confirmed. Samsung’s current high-end Exynos 7420 SoC makes use of four Cortex-A72 and four Cortex-A53 CPU designs that are licensed from ARM, along with an ARM Mali-T760 GPU.
Samsung’s semi-conductor business has become an increasingly important asset for the company, especially as revenues from smartphone sales have taken a hit in the past few quarters. Manufacturing an in-house CPU design could save Samsung money in the long run, but may also be a strategic move to raise the profile of its semiconductor business.
Samsung has seen success with its 14nm FinFET manufacturing process for mobile chips this year and designing its own core components would put the company in a very strong position against rivals Apple and Qualcomm, which both rely on factories from the likes of Samsung and TSMC to manufacture their chip designs. Not to mention, Samsung may be looking to optimize its future products with specially designed chips, bringing features and/or performance that cannot be found in competing SoCs.
The Galaxy S7 is also expected to ship with Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 820 SoC in some regions, possibly to make sure that Samsung has enough chips to meet demand for its next flagship smartphone.
Samsung refused to comment on productions plans for its next-gen mobile processors.