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LG Could Make its Own Chips for Smart, Mobile Devices

This week, the Korea Herald reported that Korea's second-largest consumer electronics company, LG Electronics, plans to develop its own system-on-a-chip (SoC), codenamed Odin, for smart devices, following Samsung and Apple. An LG spokesperson has confirmed the report, saying that the company will indeed start mass producing a chip "soon." Unnamed sources said the company will begin in 2Q 2014.

Sources report that LG Electronics' unannounced chip will be manufactured by Taiwan-based foundry TSMC, and may find its way into LG's next smartphone, the G3, which the company hopes will make its debut before June. The chip may also be used in mid- to low-cost smartphones from both LG Electronics and other device makers.

Originally, LG was looking to introduce its chip and G3 smartphone in the third quarter of 2014. However, the release of Samsung's Galaxy S5 has pushed other Korean smartphone manufacturers like LG and Pantech to introduce their new phones earlier than planned in order to stay competitive in the smartphone market. That said, Pantech has moved the Vega Iron 2 release up to April.

Sources claim that despite Samsung's Galaxy S5, there are other reasons why LG is pushing for a pre-June release. If the company waits until this summer, the release may not have a huge impact on sales because consumers are on vacation. If the company waits until the third quarter to release the phone, then it will lose its momentum.

Although the SoC will be manufactured by TSMC, they will be based on an original big.LITTLE design by LG Electronics. Sources claim that this chip will have four 2.2 GHz Cortex-A15 cores, and four 1.7 GHz Cortex-A7 cores. There's speculation that the G3 will launch in South Korea with the custom processor, and launched everywhere else with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801/805 chip.