Samsung's Exynos May Become an ARMed SoC Competitor

Unnamed industry sources claim that Samsung's in-house developed Exynos ARM-based SoC in the upcoming Galaxy S3 signals the company's entry into the smartphone and tablet sector as a major chip provider.

According to the sources, Samsung will be competing with the likes of Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments once the Samsung Galaxy S3 hits the market. The smartphone will reportedly sport Samsung's in-house Exynos 4412 quad-core 32-nm SoC which features ARM A9 cores and integrated LTE and WCDMA radios. Previously Samsung used a dual-core Exynos 4210 SoC in the Galaxy S2 and the Exynos 3110 (AKA Hummingbird) in the original Galaxy S.

Looking back, Samsung has been using its own solutions for quite some time. Why is the Exynos a threat all of a sudden? Because the company is expected to decrease its orders from Qualcomm which provides Snapdragon SoCs for other Samsung smartphones including the Galaxy Note, the Windows Phone 7-powered Focus, the Focus S and the Focus Flash.

There's also indication that Samsung may offer the quad-core Exynos 4412 or later to other manufacturers, hence the immediate threat to Nvidia, TI and Qualcomm. Samsung will initially only produce a small quantity of the chips for its new Galaxy S3 smartphone since the processor will be a closed platform like Apple's A5 series. But sources claim Samsung's strategy will further heat up competition among ARM-based SoCs, leading to speculation that the Exynos may eventually not be quite so closed in the near future.

Sources say that Apple and Qualcomm will probably start taking measures to fight back against Samsung's platform to prevent growth. Industry watchers will keep a close eye on Samsung to see how it handles the pressure, but the company's strong financial resources are expected to allow the company to catch up with the competition by "headhunting" talent.