The big silicon fight is only just beginning, with the likes of Apple, Samsung, Intel, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, AMD, and many others fighting for supremacy — but Samsung is reportedly making some big, and very interesting (but expected) news.
The latest is that ARM’s next-gen Cortex X series CPU cores are reportedly not meeting Samsung’s high expectations, with Samsung and Qualcomm “turning their plans to a custom architecture development”. As it stands, Samsung and Qualcomm license the CPU cores designed by ARM — but both companies would be silly to not design their own CPU architectures.
Samsung did precious have an in-house team designing custom CPU cores, this was codenamed Mongoose which I wrote about back in August 2015. Samsung shut this division down not long after that, licensing CPU cores designed by ARM again for all of its phones including the flagship Galaxy S21 Ultra.
There are some variants (the US-based ones for example) of Samsung’s line of Galaxy S21 smartphones (like the previous-gen Galaxy S20 series before it) that use Qualcomm’s own Snapdragon SoC — but they’re also using ARM CPU cores.
Samsung and AMD announced a multi-year strategic partnership on getting Radeon technology — the RDNA 2 GPU architecture — inside of Samsung smartphones and tablets in 2021. Samsung having its own CPU cores makes sense, joining it with GPU cores from AMD and its RDNA architecture.
But the rumors of Samsung poaching Apple and AMD engineers, the tweets tease that the discussions with a “former engineer who directed the development of the quite famous Apple chips is almost finished. In the case of a former Apple engineer, it is known that he is requesting Samsung the right to form a project team in the direction of the development with the people he wants to work with” and for “the full power of the development lead“.
Could be big news in the coming years, as the mobile CPU war heats up between ARM (owned by NVIDIA), Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple, Intel, and others.