Samsung Allegedly Built A Mobile Chip Team With Ties To Qualcomm, What About Exynos?

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While the actual experience of using a high-end Samsung Galaxy phone may not be all that different from using an iPhone, that's only really true in the US. Samsung's fancy phones sold in the US use powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs that may not always outrun Apple's bespoke processors, but they're pretty darn fast. Overseas, though, Samsung uses its own home-grown Exynos chips, and they don't typically compete as well in terms of performance or efficiency.

It could be for this reason that the company has allegedly formed a new "application processor solution development team." This information comes from Korean tech and electronics site TheElec, who writes that Samsung's mobile business unit is now headed by EVP Choi Won-joon after the company's annual reorganization. Choi will also be the head of the new processor development team, if this information is accurate.

It's interesting, because Samsung already has a chip design unit. Samsung System LSI is the name of the Samsung division that concerns itself with creating application processors and other logic chips. You could reasonably assume that the new team is primarily going to focus on optimizing Exynos CPUs for the task of mobile computing, but TheElec says that's not likely the case.

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Samsung recently partnered with AMD to include RDNA 2 graphics in its SoCs.

Instead, the site seems to believe that Choi intends to have the new unit develop its own processors going forward. The idea isn't completely insane. Choi joined Samsung in 2016 after building a reputation as an expert in wireless chipsets at Qualcomm. If anyone at Samsung is qualified to start their own team building mobile SoCs, it's probably him.

The average smartphone user doesn't obsess much about smartphone speed, but the gap between Apple's finest and even the best Exynos SoCs is a yawning chasm. Rumor has it that the Galaxy S23 will be the first to use Snapdragon processors around the world. If that's true, then Samsung is definitely concerned about performance, and it may well be the case that Choi wants Samsung's mobile unit to start building its own processors.