For the past several years, Samsung has used two different chipsets in its Galaxy S and now-discontinued Galaxy Note series flagships. Buyers in some markets get the company’s in-house Exynos processor while in some others, the devices come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs. The Korean brand gets a lot of flak for this but it continued with the strategy this year too. However, for better or worse, things may change drastically from next year. The Galaxy S23 series could come with MediaTek chipsets in some markets, Korean media reports. Even the Galaxy S22 FE could get MediaTek processors.
Samsung to switch to MediaTek chipsets for the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S22 FE
According to a Business Korea report, Samsung is planning to use MediaTek’s flagship Dimensity series processors in the Galaxy S23 series next year. This change is for the Asian market, the report says. Most Asian countries got Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S22 phones this year. While the Europen units came with an Exynos processor, the US and Canada got Snapdragon too. The remaining markets were also divided between the two processors.
Going by this, the Galaxy S23 would come in three processor variants — Dimensity in Asia, Exynos in Europe, and Snapdragon in the US and Canada. But we suspect that would be the case. Instead, Samsung could be looking to ditch Exynos processors for good and use Snapdragon and Dimensity chipsets.
Exynos chipsets have historically underperformed their Snapdragon counterparts, so we’d say it’s a welcome change. If Samsung has to use two chipsets in the Galaxy S23 series, it better be Dimensity and Snapdragon. The Dimensity 9000 has impressed in power efficiency and performance this year when both Exynos 2200 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 haven’t lived up to expectations.
Perhaps Samsung is to blame for the poor performance of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The Qualcomm chipset is fabricated on the Korean firm’s 4nm process node. MediaTek, on the other hand, had the Dimensity 9000 manufactured by TSMC, whose chip tech has always had a competitive edge over Samsung’s.
Is Samsung Exynos on the way out?
Samsung has been making Exynos processors for several years now. The company mostly uses the chipsets in its own smartphones but also sells some of those to others. However, not all Galaxy smartphones feature Exynos chipsets. Perhaps Samsung is now increasingly using MediaTek processors in its budget and mid-range offerings. And come 2023, flagship Galaxy devices will also get MediaTek chipsets.
Well, this shift will begin later this year with the Galaxy S22 FE. According to the new report, half of the upcoming Fan Edition (FE) phones will use a MediaTek processor. It is expected to launch in the second half of 2022, so we might be looking at the Dimensity 9000 SoC. The Galaxy S23 series, meanwhile, could get the Taiwanese chipmaker’s next-gen flagship offering.
This shift would mean a massive loss of business for Samsung’s foundry division. Perhaps, if the company doesn’t bounce back with a much-improved product soon, it may very well spell the end of the Exynos processor lineup. Its market share has been on a downward spiral lately. Samsung is working on 3nm chips using the GAA (Gate All Around) design that is said to bring massive performance and efficiency improvements. Hopefully, it will live up to expectations.
Having multiple players in the market increases competition, which is good for consumers. But Samsung needs to make a product that can compete against its rivals. Time will tell whether the Korean brand’s Exynos processors would live on.