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Samsung’s Custom GPU Design Apparently Delayed

June 17, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Earlier this year, Samsung launched the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, and they were big deals for the industry as a whole for much more than the premium build and flexible display used in the Edge. The Galaxy S6 was the first flagship smartphone from Samsung in a long time to exclusively use silicon produced by Samsung themselves. In the past, there have been variants of the Galaxy Note 3, the Galaxy S5 and so on that were powered by Exynos processors, but these were mostly put on sale outside of North America and Europe. The Exynos 7420 inside the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge is a pretty capable processor, and unlike the Snapdragon 810 doesn’t get so hot under the collar.

Samsung has lofty ambitions to become a big player in the semiconductor space. As they’ve become one of the few manufacturers around the globe that have shown themselves to be capable at producing 14nm chips like the Exynos 7420, it’s no wonder they feel confident. The Exynos 7420 is an octa-core CPU just like the Snapdragon 810 and MediaTek MT6592, and while Samsung have added something of their own to the CPU, the GPU (responsible for graphics processing) is of ARM’s design. Rumors that Samsung has been working on their own GPU design for some time have hit a roadblock, according to Business Korea.

Despite the fact that Samsung have been working towards their own GPU design as early as 2011, they’ve just signed a contract with ARM securing the rights to Mali-T820, Mali-T830, T860, and T880 GPUs for many years to come. This suggests that for at least the rest of 2015, and perhaps 2016, we won’t see a device hit shelves from Samsung with a Samsung-designed GPU. Work is said to be continuing on the project though, and it could be a big deal for Samsung going forward. Designing and producing their own Super AMOLED displays as well their own GPU chips could enable Samsung to drastically improve battery life and display quality, but it looks like for now, Samsung fans will have to keep dreaming.