Samsung held its Samsung Mobile Forum 2013 in Taipei on September 12 where they talked about trends in all the industries they’re in, from mobile devices, cloud computing, and energy and environment protections. Of course, what’s of interest to us is what they said about the the smartphone trends:
The agenda of the forum also addressed the major challenges facing the mobile device industry, including how to further ramp up the performance of CPUs and GPUs with lower power consumption.
Samsung has always cared about processor performance in its devices, because it’s actually one of the factors that catapulted the first Galaxy S. It had CPU performance just as good as others, but much better GPU performance at the time. Samsung will obviously continue this trend, however, something tells me they’re hinting at something else here – possibly their own rumored CPU core, that’s supposed to launch in 2014, and will most like be based on the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture.
If my reading here is correct, then they could be saying their own chip will be more focused on power consumption, than raw performance no matter what (the way, unfortunately, Nvidia has been doing it lately). Samsung has used Qualcomm chips lately in LTE markets, because it’s harder/slower for them to integrate LTE in the current Exynos chips, and I think besides the LTE integration, they also like how efficient Qualcomm’s chips are, and they will want to compete more with Qualcomm, instead of Nvidia (good call!).
Another advantage of making their own CPU, is that they may finally start to include their own LTE modems in it, although it would probably be even easier if they made their own GPU’s too. But GPU’s tend to be even harder to make, and we haven’t heard any rumors about them buying GPU companies, so they’ll most likely continue to use ARM’s Mali GPU’s.
They could also surprise us by going with Nvidia’s Kepler GPU, which actually looks very promising in terms of performance/watt. Nvidia has recently announced they will be licensing Kepler, and if Samsung gets it, it would be win-win for both Nvidia and Samsung. Samsung would also finally be able to say that their GPU’s are better than Apple’s Imagination GPU’s, because Kepler is much more advanced than Imagination’s Series6 GPU’s.
If they also make this chip at 20nm, which is the node shrink expected to happen next year, then I could see how Samsung could easily deliver on this promise of better performance at lower power consumption. This chip would most likely arrive first in the Galaxy S5, along with 4GB of RAM. Of course, keep in mind this is still just speculation for now, but at the same time it’s nothing too outrageous, and it’s just stuff Samsung should do. If all of these things line up, the Galaxy S5 could be a performance monster.