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Samsung to offer its Exynos SoCs to other smartphone makers

Samsung Electronics may become a new rival for Qualcomm, MediaTek and other suppliers of mobile system-on-chips as the company reportedly plans to sell its Exynos 7420 processors to third parties.

For a long time, Samsung Electronics used application processors from Qualcomm inside its premium smartphones, but in the recent years the company started to design its own high-end system-on-chips for its flagship handsets that offer better performance as well as unique capabilities. At present, Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones are the only handsets with application processors made using 14nm process technology.

samsung_exynos_7_14nm_chip

As it appears, Samsung wants to use its SoCs not only inside its own smartphones and other consumer electronics products, but also to sell them to third-parties. According to Pan Jiutang, a technology analyst from China, Meizu may be Samsung’s first customer to get the Exynos 7420 for its upcoming handset.

The Meizu MX5 Pro flagship smartphone will feature a double-sided glass display, a metal frame and the high-performance Exynos 7420 system-on-chip, reports SamMobile.

The Samsung Exynos 7420 features eight cores that work in ARM’s Big.Little HMP [heterogeneous multi-processing] configuration: four high-performance ARM Cortex- A57 cores and four low-power ARM Cortex-A53 cores for heavy loads and lighter jobs, respectively. The SoC also integrates ARM Mali-T760 graphics engine with 16 shader cores and support for OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1; OpenCL 1.1 and DirectX 11 application programming interfaces, quad-channel memory controller as well as various special-purpose hardware, interfaces and so on.

It is not completely clear why Samsung wants to sell its unique application processors to its rivals, but it looks like the company needs to increase its revenues and profitability. The company has to pay for its SoC-related research and development operations, therefore, it is logical to sell app processors to third parties if sales of own-brand handsets miss expectations.

samsung_exynos_7_octa

Keeping in mind that Samsung does not have a broad portfolio of Exynos products made using modern process technologies, it is unlikely that it will become a dangerous rival for Qualcomm or MediaTek. However, Samsung could offer unique chips for high-end smartphones, stealing lucrative deals from chip suppliers.

Samsung and Meizu did not comment on the news-story.

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KitGuru Says: If Samsung has enough 14nm chips for third-parties, then either its yields are good, or sales of the Galaxy S6 series are well below expectations.

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