Is Qualcomm Reengineering The Snapdragon 810 For the Samsung Galaxy S6?

We've carried stories here at Android Headlines discussing both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and rumors that it is still overheating after many months of development. On the one hand, I don't expect every processor to perform perfectly as the prototype designs roll off the production lines but nor do I believe that Qualcomm are still having issues with their released, production Snapdragon 810 processors that customers are receiving for their handsets. We know that both LG and Xiaomi are receiving the Snapdragon 810s. However, notice how I carefully worded my statements: perhaps the Snapdragon 810 is experiencing issues but Qualcomm's quality control process is removing them from customer shipments? We can speculate the wastage rate if this is happening as Qualcomm continue to refine and perfect the design. And as for the Snapdragon 810's new home in the form of the LG G Flex 2, LG said that the handset was designed with the 810 in mind that that the company was able to work around the chip's heat emissions. This could be both a loaded statement ("this processor runs hot!") or meaningless (as all processors produce heat).

We have also seen discussion over Samsung's Exynos processor line and speculation that Samsung might be dropping the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 for their own processor line, we suppose the Galaxy S6. I pointed out fifteen billion reasons why this is a distinctive possibility. The issue is clouded: will Samsung use the Snapdragon 810? If they do not, is this because the new Qualcomm flagship chip is flawed, or because they're trying to use their own in-house products? We've seen conflicting reports, but I have seen something that makes me think that Qualcomm will be inside the new flagship (perhaps as well as the Exynos). The report in the Wall Street Journal suggests that Qualcomm are (re)designing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 for the Galaxy S6.

I'm supposing that this doesn't mean increasing the module size to incorporate a 80mm fan but instead it could mean that Qualcomm are working on heat emissions, but here's an alternative idea: in the last two Samsung flagship iterations, the Qualcomm processor inside the Galaxy handset has been a higher performance model than the competition. The Galaxy S4's Snapdragon 600 was clocked at 1.9 GHz compared with 1.7 GHz for the HTC One M7. The Galaxy S5's Snapdragon 801 was clocked at 2.5 GHz compared with the HTC One's 2.3 GHz (okay, some Asian market M8s had a 2.5 GHz processor...). I might speculate that Samsung asked Qualcomm to design a higher clocked version of their flagship processor and give them a regional exclusive on the new processor.

We won't know for definite until Samsung announce the Galaxy S6, likely to be in early March unless their plans change. Meanwhile, I'd say that the Snapdragon 810 is still in the running for the Galaxy S6 (and indeed most other flagships out there). I don't see the reported issues with the 810 as real evidence that Qualcomm have dropped the ball this year. Instead, if the Snapdragon 810 will falter, it is because it won't offer any great performance or battery life advantage over the competition.

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.