Samsung stopped making its own custom CPU cores for Exynos chipsets last November. Reports were that the company would instead use stock ARM cores in order to improve the performance of its Exynos chipsets. Now, a new report from Business Korea suggests that this move is bearing fruits with the report claiming a much improved Exynos processor will arrive in 2021.
According to the report, Samsung is currently working with ARM to develop a new mobile SoC based on the Cortex-X1 core. The British chip designing giant announced the new "super core" in May this year. The Cortex-X1 brings a 30-percent higher peak performance than the Cortex-A77, which is found on the Snapdragon 865/865+. Additionally, the Cortex-X1 design also promises to be up to 22 percent faster than the new Cortex A78 design.
Earlier, Samsung licensed instruction set architectures (ISAs) from ARM to design custom Mongoose CPU cores. However, it's Exynos chipsets have lately fallen behind the competing Qualcomm solutions in terms of performance. The performance difference has widened in recent years, forcing Samsung to rethink its mobile SoC strategy.
The company is now collaborating with ARM for its next-generation Exynos chipsets. Going forward, it'll use off-the-shelf ARM cores in its in-house mobile application processors.
Samsung's Exynos chipsets are also inferior to Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipsets in terms of graphics performance. The former uses ARM's Mali GPUs that have had heating problems during high-performance applications such as gaming. In order to overcome this weakness, the South Korean company is reportedly teaming up with AMD for a custom GPU.
Samsung is also aiming to improve the performance of the neural processing units (NPUs) and modems in its upcoming flagship Exynos SoC. The company plans to expand the NPU team by 10-fold in the coming years, the report claims.
Samsung aims to become the No. 1 Application processor maker by joining forces with AMD and ARM
With Huawei's HiSilicon subsidiary unable to develop custom Kirin chips due to the US sanctions, Samsung has lesser competition in the Android application processor (AP) market. It is essentially now a race between Samsung and Qualcomm only.
And although Samsung's Exynos 990, its latest flagship mobile SoC, is inferior to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 or 865+ in terms of both CPU and GPU performance, the Korean company reportedly believes its latest efforts would bring the desired results. By partnering with ARM and AMD, it is now aiming to become the No. 1 AP maker in the world.
Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 20 series with Exynos 990, except in a few markets where it uses Snapdragon chipsets. The same Exynos chipset was used in the Galaxy S20 series as well. According to the new report, a successor to this chipset will launch in 2021, possibly with the Galaxy S21/S30 series.