Snapdragon 820 rumored to be exclusive to Samsung until April

JC Torres - Dec 17, 2015, 2:30 am CDT
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Snapdragon 820 rumored to be exclusive to Samsung until April

The tech world in general, and the mobile industry in particular, is an odd one from an outsider and casual onlooker’s perspective. Companies that sue each other left and right often supply each other with components. And sometimes rivals even become the best of buds. That might seem to be the case with Qualcomm‘s Snapdragon 820. Not only is it rumored to power the upcoming Galaxy S7, it is now also rumored to be exclusive to Samsung, at least until April 2016, before other OEMs can get their hands on it.

By now, it matters little whether the Snapdragon 810 was really technically a flop. Public perception and not a few bad testimonies is enough to have sent many partners wary of what should have been Qualcomm’s flagship. Some would say that Samsung had a hand in that, especially in setting the image of the chip. Ironically, now it seems that Samsung will have an even more direct hand in making its successor succeed. Or not.

The Snapdragon 820, which is earning some high scores in preliminary benchmarks, is reported to be manufactured using Samsung’s 14 nm FinFET process and in Samsung’s own factories. Samsung also supposedly had a very active role in making sure it did not overheat the way the 810 did. In exchange for all of this, rumors say that Samsung will have exclusive access to the Snapdragon 820 until the Galaxy S7 launches.

Now this is a puzzling prospect for both companies. Qualcomm naturally needs the Snapdragon 820 to succeed and it might be grateful to Samsung for that. But making the chip exclusive to the OEM for a stretch of four months might be suicide for the chip, causing customers to look for alternatives. Samsung might be invested in seeing the chip success in order to flaunt its silicon making prowess, but it does have an Exynos, also made with the same 14 nm FinFET process, to fall back on.

Samsung is expected to announced the Galaxy S7 around MWC 2016, but it doesn’t usually launch it until March or April. Qualcomm might lose a window of opportunity there for smartphone makers who are following their own, non-Samsung-centric schedules.

VIA: G for Games


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