Samsung’s semi-conductor division has been faring much better than the company’s smartphone division this year, and Samsung looks to have big plans for its mobile SoC business in the future. Long running rumors have suggested that Samsung is working on its own CPU and GPU designs and we might finally be edging closer to a product launch.
Samsung GPU rumors have been circling for a while, but the latest report from ZDNet Korea suggests that Samsung’s own graphics chip could make an appearance as early as mid-2015. This time-frame would miss out the Galaxy S6 launch window, but such a GPU might arrive in time for next year’s Galaxy Note launch. But we probably shouldn’t speculate so far into the future.
Currently, Samsung relies on ARM’s Cortex CPU and Mali GPU technologies for its own Exynos SoCs, but this incurs licensing costs. Samsung has some of the industry’s leading SoC manufacturing processes and is likely keen to make use of them for its own product line-up. Combined with an integrated LTE modem solution, a Samsung SoC powered by the company’s own CPU and GPU designs could rival Qualcomm’s market leading Snapdragon range.
However, there are no exact details on if or when Samsung could release its own complete 64-bit SoC, or if it is just planning to introduce its own GPU offering. As Qualcomm is likely developing a 64-bit Krait CPU successor and already has its impressive Adreno GPU range, it seems plausible that Samsung is actively working on competing technologies of its own, rather than relying solely on ARM’s reference designs.
2015 already looks to be an interesting year for mobile SoCs, a Samsung GPU or custom 64-bit SoC entry could really stir things up.