The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be powered by a significantly different system-on-chip (SoC) than the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, one industry insider said on Saturday. While the South Korean phone maker traditionally equipped its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note-branded handsets released within the same calendar year with identical chips, the company is said to be changing that product development strategy as of 2018, with the Galaxy S9 lineup being expected to feature the Exynos 9810 built on a 10nm process, while the silicon fueling the Galaxy Note 9 will be developed with either an 8nm or 7nm process node, the source revealed. According to the same insider, the name "Exynos 9810" isn't final and may change by the time the chip is commercialized in spring 2018.
The Exynos 9810 was the subject of another report earlier this month, with another source also claiming that the chipset will be found inside the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, in addition to shipping with CDMA support. The silicon is expected to be Samsung's second SoC built on the 10nm FinFET process node and could possibly be its last such chip given how Qualcomm and TSMC are already heavily invested in developing 7nm SoCs and the Seoul-based tech giant must follow suit or risk getting left behind. Being able to fit more transistors on a physical area than 10nm chipsets can, the 7nm technology should allow for even more efficient silicon, though it remains to be seen whether Samsung decides to make a direct jump from a 10nm to 7nm manufacturing process or if the Galaxy Note 9 ends up shipping with an 8nm chipset, provided that the latest report is accurate.
While this year's Galaxy Note 8 is rumored to possibly feature the Snapdragon 836 instead of the Snapdragon 835 powering the U.S. variants of the Galaxy S8 series, the two lineups are still said to be relatively similar in terms of performance, much like their predecessors. If Samsung adopts a new, more advanced SoC manufacturing technology for the Galaxy Note 9 compared to the Galaxy S9 family, that decision would likely lead to the largest performance discrepancy between contemporary Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lineups to date. More details on Samsung's hardware endeavors should follow later this year.