So much for new custom Samsung CPUs ready by 2027
The Samsung Galaxy S23 series is off to a flying start for the Korean smartphone maker. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip is a major reason behind the lineup’s success, as the SoC delivers exceptional performance and efficiency gains compared to last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. In fact, Samsung has gone all-in on the Qualcomm chip in all markets and completely abandoned its proprietary Exynos SoC. This comes a few years after the company closed its custom CPU design department within Exynos and switched to Reference Arm CPU cores. A new report now says that Samsung has restarted development of its custom CPU cores.
Business Korea claims that Samsung’s electronics division has established an internal team led by Rahul Tuli to lead the custom CPU design effort. Tuli, who was recently hired, was previously a senior developer at AMD and worked on several CPU development projects. Speculation suggests that the internally developed CPU could debut in 2027 at the earliest.
In addition, the Korean company is said to have stepped up its efforts to develop its next-generation SoCs. The team, tentatively called the Galaxy chip, is working on a specifically optimized SoC for Galaxy devices, confirming previous reports. Rumors suggest that the first Galaxy chip could debut in 2025, although it would initially use Arm CPU cores. Until then, the company would presumably continue to use Snapdragon chips in its flagship devices, thanks to its multi-year partnership with Qualcomm.
Samsung previously used its in-house designed Mongoose CPU cores in Exynos SoCs. While powerful, the CPU was too power hungry and inefficient compared to Qualcomm’s offerings. It was a major reason why Samsung finally killed off the CPU design team and laid off more than 300 developers from its Austin, Texas R&D facility.
While Samsung may be able to better optimize its devices with its own core SoCs leading to superior performance and battery life, the company has already questioned Business Korea’s report and issued the following statement:
“A recent media report that Samsung has established an internal team dedicated to the development of the CPU core is not true. Contrary to the news, we have long had multiple internal teams responsible for the development and optimization of the CPU while continuously recruiting international talents from relevant fields.”
That distinction might be a little hard to see, but it reads like Samsung is trying to clarify that its internal silicon development efforts don’t specifically extend to core design, and that the company might be licensing that.
UPDATE: 2023/03/06 4:26 PM EST BY STEPHEN SCHENCK
This article has been updated with Samsung’s response to the report, as shared with SamMobile.