Samsung might be skipping the 4K-ready Snapdragon 810 SoC chip but LG still loves it

by on January 26, 2015

Stephan Jukic – January 26, 2015

According to a recent Bloomberg report, electronics giant Samsung will be skipping over the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processing chip for its latest, most powerful mobile devices.

According to the sources in the report, the company has decided to forego Qualcomm’s latest and most powerful processor because they found that it suffers from overheating issues when used in mobile devices during development tests. Instead, Samsung will be going with its own Exynos chipset for their latest phone, the Galaxy S6.

This is of course a major departure from the manufacturing course of previous Samsung mobile devices and a definite blow to the prestige of the flagship mobile device chip of 2015.

Nonetheless, other manufacturers of electronics are sticking by Qualcomm and the most notable among them are Xiaomi and LG.

The Snapdragon 810 will definitely be built into the latest phablet from Xiaomi, the Mi Note Pro, whose extremely impressive specs we’ve already covered.

LG has also stepped up to the bat for Qualcomm by putting the 810 SoC into its Flex 2 curved smartphone, which it recently introduced to consumers at CES 2015 in Las Vegas, and the company is planning on using the Snapdragon in other products throughout 2015.

According to Woo Ram-chan, LG’s VP of mobile product planning, his company is aware of the concerns on the market about the snapdragon but has found the chips performance to be perfectly “satisfactory” in their own product tests. He claims that they don’t understand why others (read Samsung) are having issues with excessive heat generation.

Part of the reason may simply lie in the fact that Samsung has much more room for pickiness about system-on-a-chip processors than LG. Unlike the latter, Samsung has a far more developed chip production and research capability and has frequently used its own native SoCs in many of its previous products.

LG, on the other hand, is just beginning to dabble in the same levels of R&D for mobile device processing chips and because of this, they’re pretty much stuck with whatever Qualcomm produces since the best alternatives are much less adequate options from Intel or Nvidia.

the Xiaomi Mi Note phablet, with its extremely impressive specs, does feature the Snapdragon SoC

the Xiaomi Mi Note phablet, with its extremely impressive specs, does feature the Snapdragon SoC

This isn’t to say that either of these latter two companies is bad at making mobile chips, but their real expertise lies in larger, distinct chips for PCs and laptops.

Whether the Snapdragon 810 actually has heat emission issues or not remains a bit hazy but the possibility isn’t too remote, given that this wouldn’t be the first time this kind of problem has been reported for this specific chip.

Either way, even if it does heat up a bit fast, this shouldn’t be a major problem for any buyers of 2015 smartphones and tablets, since the heat issue just means that the chip runs into its built-in thermal limits a bit faster than normal even though performance remains the same.

What could be bothering Samsung is the simple fact that the phones and tablets for which the Snapdragon 810 is designed are supposed to be the very most advanced and powerful of their kind on the market. Many of them will have 4K processing capacities and by mid-2015, some will likely even come with 4K ultra HD displays, requiring the best possible performance from their internal hardware.

Qualcomm itself, which has taken a keen interest in the development of 4K in mobile technology, has previously indicated that the Snapdragon is built with the resolution in mind.

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