With the Galaxy S6, Samsung ditched Qualcomm for its own in-house Exynos 7 system-on-chip. However, Samsung doesn’t use its own customized CPU cores for the Exynos 7, it just uses off-the-shelf cores from ARM (though the Snapdragon 810 saw Qualcomm do the very same thing). However, that may change next year.
Business Korea reports that Samsung has started “running projects to improve its own semiconductor design ability.” The news outlet goes on to say that this includes a custom core development project for mobile application processors as well as work on developing smartphone chips that integrate mobile application processors and modems. In addition, the company plans to expand its foundry business to include GPUs and CPUs for PCs.
Samsung is supposedly expecting results on the custom core project by Q1 next year at the latest, which means we could see a custom chip design for the next Exynos SoC. As Daniel mentioned in our S6 review, Samsung is the closest it has ever been to controlling the entire hardware stack. This move will further reduce Samsung’s dependency on outside component manufacturers while also giving the company the opportunity to best competing smartphone chips with its own innovations.