Recently, there’s been a lot of speculation about whether Samsung will look to expand its logic chip business by opening up its Exynos chips to third-party OEMs for use in their mobile devices. Android Headlines already reported as much, over the weekend, and now, reports seem to indicate that the day when a major global brand (apart from Samsung) launches a handset with an Exynos chip, may not be that far away. That’s because latest reports seem to indicate Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is apparently testing a device running Samsung’s current top-shelf chipset, the Exynos 7420. The SoC powers all of Samsung’s current generation flagship smartphones, including the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ and the Note 5. If the latest developments turn out to be real, it may soon be seen on a BlackBerry handset as well, meaning more competition for standalone chipmakers such as Qualcomm, MediaTek, Nvidia, Intel etc.
As for the BlackBerry device allegedly spotted on GFXBench running the Exynos 7420, it comes with code number STV100-1, and has a 5.1-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) display. The listing also shows 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage on the device, and as for the CPU, the 64-bit octa-core unit is clocked at a maximum of 2.1 GHz. The cameras on the smartphone are believed to be 16 and 5-megapixel units, and the device runs of Android 5.1.1 out of the box. One word of caution however, for all readers – the specs listed on the GFXBench database are fairly similar to the Galaxy S6, so it’s very possible that someone actually could have edited the build.prop file to make the device come across as BlackBerry on GFXBench. So a pinch of salt may well be in order.
Coming to Samsung’s microprocessor ambitions, the South Korean company has already invested billions of dollars towards building a new semiconductor facility at Pyeongtaek, near Seoul, South Korea, and reports earlier in the year indicated that the company intends to invest billions more to ramp up its production capacity at the facility. Samsung has already announced its plans to expand its microprocessor business aggressively, and the head of the company’s logic chip business, Mr. Kim Gi Nam, has already said as much, in prior interviews. “We have plenty of room to grow”, he said. “If you have a fab to operate, it doesn’t matter whether your customer is internal or on the outside. Whoever buys our capacity is the primary customer”.
So basically, if Mr. Kim’s utterances hold any water whatsoever, fairly soon, Exynos chips will be powering smartphones from many third party OEMs, irrespective of whether this particular leak turns out to be real or fake. Currently, only a handful of non-Samsung devices like the Lenovo LePhone K860, the Meizu M9 and the Meizu Pro 5, along with a few others, sport Exynos-branded chips.