Since the Galaxy S2, Samsung has been releasing two different versions of their flagship devices with different processors for different markets, leaving users to scratch their heads as to why they’re doing this. The recent arrival of Samsung Galaxy S8 in the market, didn’t just mark the arrival of a flagship model that would have a beautiful hardware and powerful software; but it also led to a string of confusing feeds about why the company decided to build two main versions of the Galaxy S8 (and correspondingly, GS8+). While one variant of GS8/GS8+ was found to run on the company’s in-house Exynos chips, the other variant featured a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
While as per our previous leakSamsung may use the Exynos 9810 on all variants of the Galaxy S9, a new report suggests that the tech giant’s new flagship device that is supposed to be launched somewhere in the first quarter of 2018, might not come out with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Up till GS8 and GS8+, the company had been using the same chipsets in both the devices, namely Exynos 8895 and Snapdragon 835. So two variants for each model were produced, one featuring Exynos 8895 SoC, while the other featuring a Snapdragon 835 SoC. But with the arrival of Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9, things may change a little bit.
According to Samsung’s internal messages, the Samsung Galaxy S9 will be powered by an Exynos 9810 chipset built on a 10nm node while the Galaxy Note 9 could house an Exynos 9810 (names may change in the future) chipset built on 8nm or 7nm process node. This might work for Galaxy Note 9 coming out as a slightly better handset as compared to Galaxy S9, since the change in build process will result in reduced power consumption and will also help in boosting the device’s frequency.
This news though, makes little sense given the fact that Samsung anticipated the 10nm chipsets to last a little longer in the flagship market and invested good money in their development. For instance, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 was built using Samsung’s process technology and fabrication plants, and was the first SoC from Qualcomm based on Samsung’s 10nm FinFET process. But this jump came with its own set of problems, primary ones being low production yield for the company. As a result, Qualcomm ended the partnership with Samsung and entrusted TSMC for the 7nm process.
All this in return led to Samsung ditching Qualcomm in favor of the 10nm-based Exynos 9810 chip for the Galaxy S9. This way, Samsung could still keep the 10nm-based chipsets in (flagship) business and mass produce either 7nm or 8nm-based chips meanwhile. Not releasing Qualcomm powered S9 devices could be also attributed to the patent-related tensions between the two, with certain authorities concluding that Qualcomm is using unfair licensing requirements to prevent Samsung from selling its Exynos SoCs to third-party manufacturers in the US. Samsung traditionally opted to release devices with Qualcomm-made chips in the U.S. due to the fact that the CDMA technology used by Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and US Cellular’s networks is essentially almost entirely owned by Qualcomm through various patents. However, things might not continue to be like this between the two, leading to Exynos powered devices in upcoming Samsung devices.
While no other detail is available about the 2018 flagship for now, we surely will keep you posted here at Devs-Lab as we learn more about it.