Samsung has just signed a historic agreement with Qualcomm and this should have concrete consequences for Galaxy devices. The South Korean brand says more and talks about the future of its “house” Exynos chips.
For many weeks, it has been rumored that Samsung could only use Snapdragon chips for its Galaxy S23. It would sound like a small revolution for the manufacturer and for the many fans of the brand. Until now, Samsung used a mix of in-house developed Qualcomm and Exynos signature Snapdragon chips. An approach that does not necessarily suit users, especially French owners of Galaxy smartphones.
In Europe, the world number one offers models with Exynos chips while the rest of the world has Snapdragon SoCs. This is still the case on the Galaxy S22 series and if the manufacturer mentions a similar service between the two versions, it is clear that the models under Snapdragon are faster. What fuel some frustration among European customers of Samsung.
Galaxy S23 only under Snapdragon? We are almost there
The situation could change in the coming months, following the signing of a new contract between Samsung and Qualcomm. This “strategic partnership” aims to expand the collaboration between the two firms on the Snapdragon platforms. Concretely, Samsung wants to make more use of the Qualcomm solutions in its products, whether in its smartphones, PCs, tablets or extended reality headsets. The agreement should also help the South Korean giant set its sights on 6G.
During a question and answer session, Qualcomm is more talkative than the press release published upstream. Its CEO, Cristiano Amon, assures that the renewal of the agreement will make Qualcomm the exclusive chip supplier on Galaxy devices : “This validates that Snapdragon is the technology platform of choice for high-end Android experiences. Along with Galaxy smartphones, the deal covers PCs, tablets, extended reality and more. We have also agreed to a seven-year extension to our patent license agreement with Samsung, extending the license until the end of 2030 with the same royalty terms. The extension encompasses 3G, 4G and 5G technologies and devices and will also include future 6G standards and products. »
He adds that Samsung has increased its dependence towards Snapdragon solutions in recent years. Qualcomm was first present on about 40% of Galaxy devices and Cristiano Amon assures that “about 75%” Galaxy S22s are equipped with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and not an Exynos chip. “And now we are announcing a multi-year agreement to power Samsung Galaxy smartphones worldwide. So I’m very excited about it.”adds the leader.
Samsung is not abandoning the Exynos yet
Qualcomm therefore leaves little room for doubt and claims that the Galaxy S23 series will exclusively use a Snapdragon chip. On his side, Samsung tempers these words somewhat and ensures that the Exynos project is still relevant. To the question of whether the firm plans to abandon its “home” SoCs, the firm replies that “that’s not true at all”. In a conversation with analysts, a company official adds: “Currently, we are reorganizing our SoC business model, and we are pursuing a plan to strengthen our competitiveness in the medium and long term”.
Samsung Q&A: rumors of folding the Exynos biz are “completely not true.” They are reviewing SoC biz model w/focus on gaming mid/LT competitiveness, strengthen competitiveness of next gen mobile Exynos, expand outside of phones to wearables, PCs, etc
— Bryan Ma (@bryanbma) July 28, 2022
As a reminder, Samsung chips are managed by a subsidiary company called Samsung Electronics LSI, different from Samsung Mobile. Nevertheless, the two branches belong to the same group and Samsung may have an interest in maintaining the Exynos project.
Exynos chips, only for entry and mid-range?
We have seen with the Exynos 2200 that the gap is significant between the South Korean chip and its main rivals. Despite the hopes placed in this solution, it has not convinced and is struggling to seduce in terms of gaming against its American competition.
It would therefore not be surprising to see Samsung opting for Qualcomm Snapdragon chips on its high-end models. This merger would also concern other products such as connected watches or PCs of the brand. Conversely, Samsung has an interest in continuing to compete with Qualcomm by developing its Exynos solutions. The presence of several players is beneficial on the market and entry-level and mid-range models – very important for the manufacturer – could benefit from the work carried out by the group. A more discreet development in a segment where the competition is not as strong; and on which the Exynos chips have the weapons to shake up the proposals from MediaTek and Qualcomm.
But then, which chip for the Galaxy S23?
In view of the elements provided by Qualcomm and Samsung, we seem to be heading towards Galaxy S23 with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chips. The future flagship SoC would equip 100% of future Samsung models, or almost. Cristiano Amon’s speech that many territories will finally switch to Galaxy S under Snapdragon, including the European continent.
Long desired by brand enthusiasts, the arrival of the Galaxy S under Snapdragon has never seemed so close. It would be a great news for usEuropean consumers, who have every interest in having the best possible chip in these smartphones.
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