While the mobile industry keeps on inching forward bit-by-bit each year, every so often there’s a bigger shift, something that has more of an impact than you’d first think. Quite some time ago now, companies like MediaTek started to work on Octa-Core CPUs, with eight processing cores on the same chip. The hero of this new invention was the MediaTek MT6592 and allowed an explosion in affordable and yet still capable smartphones to hit shelves in emerging markets like India and at the time, China. Qualcomm spent their days producing quad-core Cortex-A15 based CPUs like the Snapdragon S4 Pro, the incredible Snapdragon 800 and more recently, the 805. 2015 saw Qualcomm launch their first Octa-Core CPU, the Snapdragon 810, and it’s safe to say that things didn’t take off as they would have liked.
With reports of a chip that runs hotter than others on the market starting before the chip even landed in the first devices, like the G Flex 2, it’s no wonder the Snapdragon 810 is a chip that Qualcomm probably wants to forget. There’s an argument to be made that things have been blown out of proportion, as devices with the Snapdragon 810 aren’t exactly exploding in people’s hands, but there’s definitely more heat being produced and some of the most aggressive thermal throttling that we’ve seen in a mobile processor. Now, according to reports out of China, shipments for the Snapdragon 810 will apparently fall short of Qualcomm’s original forecasts.
Rumors are swirling that the dip in shipments has a lot to do with the fact that Samsung passed over the Snapdragon 810 for their own Exynos 7420, itself built on the more efficient 14nm process, versus the 20nm process used by TSMC to crate Snapdragon 810 chips. The quality of the 810’s build is now coming into question, and that TSMC should have stepped things up to create something more robust. No matter what the cause, it’s unsurprising that these reports are circling. After all, as Samsung continues to hold the Lion’s share of the Android market to themselves, missing out on a flagship release like the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge would hurt anyone’s bottom line. These reports are of course, unofficial, so take these with a grain of salt. One thing’s for sure though, Qualcomm has suffered a little with the launch of the Snapdragon 810 and they’ll want to end 2015 on a high note.