Qualcomm Inc has announced it will be partnering with Samsung to manufacture its upcoming Snapdragon 820 processor. This means that Samsung will be the only manufacturer of the new chipset. This is a big deal that most likely came about due to Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process technology.
Samsung’s 14nm LPP process has given its own Octa-core Exynos 8 processor a notable advantage. Samsung has stated that it gives its chipsets 15% greater speed and reduces scaling limitations in the manufacturing process. A Samsung press release stated, “Incorporating three-dimensional (3D) FinFET structure on transistors enables significant performance boost and low power consumption.”
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor did not entirely live up to expectations. Samsung snubbed the 810 in favor of its own Exynos chipset. Consequently, the Galaxy S6 phones did not include the Snapdragon 810. The Exynos, more than anything else, highlighted that Samsung is now a big player in the chipset industry.
Samsung’s partnership with Qualcomm might seem something of a U-turn. But as the 820 could potentially outmatch the Exynos, the new alliance should have notable advantages for Samsung. One industry analyst, Patrick Moorhead, stated, “I do believe Samsung must use the 820 to be more competitive with Apple. The 820 hits performance per watt levels Exynos just can’t hit.”
It has also been widely speculated that the upcoming Galaxy S7 will include the Snapdragon 820 chipset. Some expect Samsung to unveil the S7 in February at the MWC with the 820. The announcement that the company will now manufacture the Snapdragon 820 gives the rumors more substance.
Furthermore, there are a number of other upcoming phones that rumors suggest will include the Snapdragon 820. Among them are the Sony Xperia Z6 and the LG G5. The new chips could considerably boost cameras and enable DSLR comparable photography with phones. The Snapdragon 820’s Adreno 530 GPU could also enhance gaming on supported platforms.
So it seems that a few flagship phones are going to include the Snapdragon 820 in 2016. The first tablets and phones with the 820 chipset will probably be available in the first half of the year.