Leading mobile device processor company Qualcomm is reported to be contracting Samsung to produce their chips. Qualcomm holds a majority of the mobile device market and is found in nearly all high-end smartphones, but has no manufacturing facilities of their own. Instead the partner with other companies, including Taiwan's TSMC and GlobalFoundries. But with increasing demand for their Snapdragon processors, Qualcomm is apparently turning to Samsung to help bolster their production.

Though Samsung is known these days primarily for their smartphones, their business also includes substantial components manufacturing arms. Samsung's responsible for 8% of the world's mobile processors, and holds a 37% share of both the DRAM and AND flash markets. Samsung's also been a longtime chip foundry partner with Apple, though tensions long-simmering tensions between the two have seen more of Apple's A-series processors being built by TSMC.

Qualcomm chips manufactured by Samsung will still be Qualcomm chips — it'd be Samsung building processors to Qualcomm's designs. But would it make a difference to you who actually manufactured your smartphone's processor, or just who made it?

Source: Yonhap


Reader comments

Your next Qualcomm processor could be Samsung inside


As long as HTC is still manufacturing phones, I really do not care! I just want sense and that high quality feel. I will be switching to a different manufacturer next year if they don't up the "ULTRA PIXEL" count. Gotta be able to crop!

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I wanted the m8 before it was announced, but four things killed it for me:
1- the ultra pixel camera
2- the big HTC bezel ( I know, radios, but there are other ways)
3- no multi window
4- no removable battery- they could have done this and kept design like on the HTC one max.

Not really anything anyone will notice I suppose.

Seems weird to me to have a competitor manufacture your goods though. Seems like Samsung's Exynos processors could benefit "off the books" as far as improving technology when they have access to all the specifications and designs of Qualcomm's processors. Maybe they cannot copy anything directly but I would imagine their engineers can get fresh ideas this way.

Not disagreeing with you, I just read an article the other day that LG is going to be making the majority of the screens from the 6 out.

Apple always use multiple suppliers for any parts, they do it to avoid any one supplier delaying a product release. They are moving majority of their SOC production to TSMC as well, but Samsung will continue to make Apple part even as a #2 supplier instead of the #1 they used to be.

Very true. Apple is way too big to rely on one source. I was just pointing out they are not gonna be the number one on screens anymore

Actually the iPhone screen is an LG IPS TFT LCD :-) The "A7" is a modified Exynos & the RAM, VRAM & DRAM are Samsung. Apple just hodgepodges all their shit together. They also ALWAYS use a LAST generation Qualcomm Baseband Radio which is a battery hog and do NOT have an integrated solution.

Samsung is more of a partner than a competitor. Samsung is probably Qualcomm's largest customer and buys much more of Qualcomm's chips than their own. They still have to pay the other divisions for the Exynos chips, so it makes more monetary sense to buy a Qualcomm SoC with an integrated modem rather than an Exynos chip and Qualcomm or other modem.

This is what I was thinking. It was speculated that Samsung "off the books" borrowed some elements from Apple SoC designs in past years. Hopefully Qualcomm is smart and only has their budget parts fabbed with Sammy.

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Lol after one of apples wins over samsung they imediately bumped the price of components used by apple like 20%. Nothing apple could do but pony up. Nobody else could produce in sufficient quantity for apples needs. In the short run. What does apple really want out of all the drama?

You know what, I was too hasty with that. With a lot of IP it is defend it or lose it. No matter how absurd it is, if you hold the IP rights to something and you do not defend it they can be taken away.

It doesn't really matter. Samsung, Qualcomm, Don Juan. As long as they bring better faster and more powerful chips to market it's all good with me.

Hopefully this doesn't do anything to the amazing open source commitment Qualcomm has made. If they suddenly closed up like Samsung, there are going to be a lot of annoyed devs around the place. Shouldn't do if Samsung are only doing the manufacturing, but still.