The mobile chip market has largely been dominated by Qualcomm’s Snapdragons but it’s hardly the only game in town. In fact, that game is going to be a bit more interesting if not dramatic due to factors outside of the smartphone and silicon industry. Other players, especially MediaTek, are rising up again to nibble away at Qualcomm’s part of the pie and Samsung is once again here to remind everyone that it, too, has a thing or two up its sleeve.
Samsung’s Exynos has been around for a long time and, at least for a short while, it almost seemed ready to challenge Qualcomm, especially after the latter’s disastrous Snapdragon 810. Recently, however, there have been doubts cast on the Exynos’ future as a “pure” Samsung chip but, at least for now, it’s trying to say that it’s still business as usual with the Exynos 880.
In contrast to the Exynos 900 series, this chip is marketed at the mid-range class of smartphones. It utilizes two 2.0 GHz Cortex-A77 cores and six 1.8 GHz Cortex-A55 cores for that. It supports only up to FHD+ displays, LPDDR4X RAM, UFS 2.1, and a single 64MP camera at most. That’s a considerable step down from what high-end phones are capable of.
The real selling point of the Exynos 880, however, is that it comes with an integrated 5G modem, though only the sub-6GHz kind. That directly puts it in the same arena as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765/765G/768 and the MediaTek Dimensity 820, all of which will be fighting over the mid-tier smartphone market.
More than just a simple challenge to Qualcomm and MediaTek, though, Samsung’s announcement may also be well-time to make its Exynos chips attractive to Huawei. The Chinese OEM is slowly being forced to look for alternatives outside of its HiSilicon Kirin processors and both MediaTek and Samsung are possible options.