Samsung Can’t manufacture the Snapdragon 865 SoC Anymore – So it looks like Qualcomm is worried. They’re concerned that Samsung might earn better Exynos chipsets than their own Snapdragon SoC’s. You see, all smartphone makers adopt Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets in their devices except Apple, Huawei and to some extent of Samsung.
Apple gets its own A-series Bionic chip, Huawei offers Kirin chipsets, but Samsung does a mix of Exynos and Snapdragon chipsets on their devices. Newly we discovered that Samsung is planning to adopt the Snapdragon 865 chipsets in the Galaxy S11 devices in more markets than ever earlier. Typically, they use Snapdragon in the US, Canada, and China. While they use their own Exynos in the rest of the world.
However, as Samsung understands that the Snapdragon 865 is a more reliable chipset over the Exynos 990, they developed their tactics and will use Snapdragon 865 in broader markets. Samsung has a chipset factory business where they make the chipsets. Qualcomm is their biggest customer.
The Snapdragon processors are created by Qualcomm, though Samsung is the one who produces them in their own companies. Immediately, at the last time, Qualcomm has concluded that they’re not going to give Samsung the contract to build the Snapdragon 865 processors. Alternatively, they’ll let TSMC make these processors for them.
You see, Qualcomm doesn’t believe that TSMC is better than Samsung. In fact, Samsung’s factory is better because of the EUV tech. But Qualcomm doesn’t want Samsung to identify its business secrets and design drawings. Which it can then possibly use to improve its own Exynos chipsets.
You saw a few months ago, Samsung did a deal with AMD, where Samsung is working on licensing the Radeon graphics for the Exynos chipsets. Not only that, Samsung has chosen to move away from Mangoos cores and will instead use ARM’s cores quickly. AMD, as you know, is a big name in the PC industry, and their graphics are the best out there.
Using their graphics would drastically improve the GPU of Exynos, the one area where Exynos chips lag behind the Snapdragon. Also, directly using ARM’s cores would mean the Exynos will work almost exactly like Snapdragon because Qualcomm also directly uses ARM’s cores by some slight tweaks.
Basically, starting 2021, Exynos chips will be either perform equal to Snapdragon chipsets or will be better than Snapdragon chipsets. And that’s the reason Qualcomm is worried that their future dominance in the chipset industry is under question. And that’s the reason they want to weaken Samsung’s chipset business. Qualcomm is playing dirty, just like they did with Apple.
I know playing dirty is part of the business. But this would mean that Samsung’s foundry business will take a massive hit this year. Samsung has decided to use more Snapdragon 865 and less Exynos 990. This means they don’t have many chipsets to manufacture and will lose billions in revenues this year. But I hope the AMD deal would turn the fortunes for them, and they don’t have to rely on Qualcomm for the chipset business. They can just use Exynos in all of their devices and ditch the Snapdragon altogether.