Samsung snaps at Qualcomm’s hand to make Snapdragon chip

14 Jan 2016

In what would look like Qualcomm’s bid to get its place in Samsung phones once again, the chip manufacturer has agreed a deal for Samsung to produce its Snapdragon 820 processor.

It appeared as if things were not looking well for Qualcomm in the years ahead having, almost exactly a year ago, suffered a major blow after Samsung said it wasn’t going to use the chip manufacturer’s processors in its Galaxy S6 phone range.

This was further compounded by a $975m fine made against the company by the Chinese authorities over patent licensing issues a month later.

But now, according to PC World, Qualcomm has announced that Samsung will build its future Snapdragon 820 processor utilising its 14-nanometer Low-Power Plus (LPP) technology, all part of its efforts to choose the most cost-effective supplier.

Understandably, speculation is now rife that the deal could see Samsung return Qualcomm’s chips into its future phones, but both companies have adamantly refused to comment on it being any indication of such a possibility.

“Our decision to choose a specific process technology is based on its ability to meet our design goals for performance, power efficiency and yield,” a Qualcomm spokesperson said.

Currently, Samsung uses its own in-house chip, the Exynos 8, which, like the Snapdragon chip, is an octa processor.

However, market analysts don’t predict that this acceptance by Samsung once again will lead to the Samsung Galaxy S7 being a Snapdragon-powered phone.

Qualcomm sign image via Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic