Under the monopoly of Qualcomm, Samsung’s 5nm flagship mobile phone chip will be mass-produced next year

Abandoning the self-research structure is like regaining a new life

Samsung’s mobile phone chips have been using self-developed architecture for the past five years.

In 2015, Samsung launched the Mongoose M1 architecture for the first time and adopted it in some flagship phones GalaxyS7 and Note7.

In the following years, Samsung successively iterated its self-developed architecture to M4, until M5, which was launched in 2019, became the last-generation architecture of Samsung.

Compared with Qualcomm and Apple, chips based on Samsung’s self-developed architecture basically have no competitiveness.

In addition, Samsung’s self-developed architecture chips can only be sold in markets outside the United States, China, and Japan, and the market sales space is relatively small.

At the same time, the self-developed architecture is costly, the chip performance is not significantly improved, and the return on capital is very small, making Samsung continue to tilt a large amount of resources to the self-developed architecture department, and the capital input and output are disproportionate, which is of less and less significance.

In October 2019, Samsung finally couldn’t bear it, and announced the dissolution of Samsung’s Austin R&D center in Texas, dismissed hundreds of chip designers, and completely abandoned its self-developed chip architecture.

In the middle of this year, Korean media reported that Samsung is working closely with ARM and AMD to improve chip CPU and GPU performance.

Samsung deliberately held a press conference for 5nm chips

Apple was the first to release 5nm chips. Apple unveiled a chip processor named A14 at the September 16 press conference. A14 has 11.8 billion transistors, using TSMC’s 5nm process technology.

Huawei released the Kirin 9000 on November 22. It also uses TSMC’s 5nm process technology. The difference is that in terms of the number of transistors, Kirin 9000 has 15.3 billion transistors.

But when people did not expect it, after Apple, Huawei, and Samsung released 5nm mobile phone chips.

It is worth noting that this is the first time that Samsung has held an independent press conference for Exynos chips. Behind the special treatment, it can also be seen that Samsung has high hopes for it.

Exynos1080 is Samsung’s first mobile processor using advanced 5nm FinFET EUV technology to ensure that it can provide top performance.

Exynos1080 integrates the latest ARM Cortex-A78 core and high-performance Cortex-A55 core with a maximum frequency of 2.8GHz into its three-cluster CPU system, and its CPU performance is almost twice that of the previous generation.

Compared with 7nm, Exynos1080’s 5nm process has increased the density of single-row transistors by 140%, and the overall transistor density of 5nm is 80% higher than that of 7nm, which means that the same unit area 5nm chip can handle more problems. , Do more calculations.

Compared with the existing mobile phone chips, Exynos1080’s CPU, GPU, NPU, ISP, and 5G modem are fully upgraded, and all aspects of performance will be greatly improved, with the current flagship performance.

As a major giant in the field of 5G communications, Samsung has adopted its latest 5G modem, which supports download speeds of up to 5.1Gbps, and is compatible with 2G, 3G, 4G networks, and frequencies below 6Ghz and millimeter wave frequencies, thereby achieving the greatest degree of globalization. Network coverage and reliability.

This time, Samsung’s Exynos1080 will be released by vivo first, which means that the global chip and mobile phone market will usher in changes, and the past mid-to-low-end pattern will be completely subverted.

Judging from the 5nm chip released this time, Samsung’s intentions can be seen even more, and Samsung hopes to open the domestic mobile phone market again. But it is not the way to release mobile phones, but the strategy of chip processors to enter the supply chain of domestic manufacturers.

Even if the smartphone market cannot return to its peak in the past, it can still occupy a processor market share that is not lost to Qualcomm in China.

Under the monopoly of Qualcomm, Samsung’s 5nm flagship mobile phone chip will be mass-produced next year

5G patents give Samsung the opportunity to share the same stage with Qualcomm

In terms of approved 5G patents, Samsung ranks first in the world with 2,795 patents. At this time, Samsung has re-entered the mobile phone commercial chip market, and the time is ripe.

In the past, regardless of whether Qualcomm chips were used, a certain Qualcomm tax was required to be paid to Qualcomm. Qualcomm tax is not only expensive, but also increases the cost of mobile phone manufacturing. Mobile phone manufacturers cannot avoid it, especially in the mid-to-high-end mobile phone chip market. In addition to Qualcomm chips, mobile phone manufacturers have no choice.

Qualcomm’s flagship chip is the queen chip of a group of Android manufacturers. Samsung wants to gain more market share and needs to step through the first hurdle of Qualcomm.

Of course, Samsung’s entry into the 5G chip by the big player means that the chip market share of the future chip hegemon Qualcomm will also be greatly affected.

Because for domestic mobile phone manufacturers, if they have more mobile phone chips to choose from, domestic mobile phone manufacturers are definitely not willing to put all their eggs in one basket, so naturally there will be a lot of Qualcomm chip orders lost to Samsung. .

We must know that Samsung is currently the only mobile phone manufacturer with integrated design, manufacturing, packaging and testing capabilities in the world. In all aspects, they have natural competitive advantages.

Recently, the well-known mobile phone supply chain source Iceuniverse tweeted the news that Samsung’s upcoming 5nm flagship mobile phone chip Orion 2100, performance or better than Qualcomm’s latest 5nm flagship mobile phone chip Snapdragon 875.

Qualcomm previously announced that it will release the 5nm mobile phone processor chip Snapdragon 875 in early December this year.

According to sources, the Orion 2100 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 CPU architecture is the same, that is, it uses one Arm Cortex-X1 core, three Arm Cortex-A78 cores, and four Arm Cortex-A55 cores.

This means that the difference between the two chip CPUs may not be obvious.

In terms of GPU, Orion 2100 may use ArmMali-G78 GPU; Snapdragon 875 may use Adreno660 GPU.

Not afraid on the way to PK MediaTek

Judging from the current market structure, Exynos is positioned closer to the MediaTek Dimensity series, and is mainly deployed on mid-range models.

According to Counterpoint’s 2019 global mobile phone chip market share report, MediaTek ranked second with a market share of 24.6% in 2019, an increase of 10.6% compared to 2018.

In the past year, MediaTek has seized the pain points of the sharp price increase of 5G mobile phones and launched a series of high-performance chips. Through lower prices, it successfully squeezed Qualcomm out, and won the middle of many manufacturers such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo. Orders for low-end 5G chips have become out-and-out big winners.

For Samsung, the good news is that MediaTek’s 5nm chip has not yet announced a mass production schedule. If Exynos1080 can guarantee its performance before then and maintain a reasonable price, it will be able to fight MediaTek.

The share of mobile phones seized by Huawei may be reversed on the chip

Although Qualcomm and MediaTek are pressing hard ahead, at the same time a huge opportunity is also attracting Samsung-to seize Huawei’s lost share.

Huawei’s exit was indeed very rapid. According to IDC data, in the third quarter of this year, Huawei’s mobile phone shipments fell by 22% year-on-year, and its market share fell by 3.9% year-on-year, which was the largest decline among the world’s top five mobile phone manufacturers.

Until now, Huawei still maintains the position of No. 1 in the Chinese market and No. 2 in the global market. If the decline continues, there will be a huge market gap.

In the face of the chip problem encountered by Huawei, and domestic manufacturers have failed to release self-developed chips, the subversion of the mobile phone market will be more thorough.

Now Apple, Samsung and Qualcomm have successively disclosed their 5nm chips, and Huawei will most likely not be able to update the production of 5nm chips, which is likely to be thrown away by Apple, Samsung and Qualcomm.

The end: the 5nm chip market is being bayonet in red

For the smartphone processor industry with the goal of reducing power consumption and improving performance, the 5nm chip manufacturing process has become a high ground it must seize.

At present, Qualcomm, MediaTek, Samsung, Apple, and Huawei HiSilicon, which rank the top five in the global mobile phone SoC chip market, have all deployed for 5nm.

With the launch of Samsung and Qualcomm’s flagship chips approaching, on the 5nm track, the “big five” in the global mobile phone SoC chip design community have gathered four of them.

With the official appearance of various products, 5nm chips have entered the market and will soon become a new situation. The battle for 5nm chips will become more intense.

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