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Report: LG Building Next-Generation Chip Based On Cortex-A72 Cores

According to a new report (Korean) from South Korea, LG has started working on a next-generation high-end SoC that's going to use the recently announced Cortex-A72 CPU and an unnamed Mali GPU (likely the high-end Mali-T880).

LG has spent almost $200 million developing the NUCLUN chip, which hit the market late last year with CPU cores such as Cortex A15 and Cortex A7 (big.LITTLE configuration), but it still ended up overheating and aggressively throttling. The sales of the one and only phone to use it, the LG G3 Screen, quickly plummeted because of that processor, and LG was forced to pull the plug on the NUCLUN.

The company then tried to build another chip that was going to use the Cortex A53 and Cortex A57 cores (also in big.LITTLE configuration). This new chip was meant to be used as an alternative to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810. However, due to technical issues that lead to overheating, the company decided to scrap this project as well.

LG doesn't seem to want to give up on building chips, though, especially now that it sees Samsung wanting to focus even more on its own chips with its Exynos 7 series. Therefore, the company is once again trying to build a next-generation chip using Cortex-A72 cores, according to South Korean sources.

The Cortex-A72, built on 16nm FinFET (TSMC's process), should be three times faster than a 28nm Cortex A15 processor (such as LG's NUCLUN). However, according to the report, LG's chip will only be built on the 20nm process, which should be quite obsolete by the time Cortex-A72 chips start arriving in 2016. LG is also supposedly six months behind schedule already, which can't be very good for a project that has just begun.

Even if the chip arrives in a reasonable time frame (relative to the competition), it's still not clear whether LG now has the qualified engineering teams to help the company build a chip without any more technical issues. Even a long-time chip maker such as Qualcomm has had similar overheating problems this year, and it should be even more difficult for a new chip maker such as LG to figure out how to make good chips.

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  • 06yfz450ridr
    my g3 never gets hot. I even had that thing running bionic for 12hrs straight over night on 4 cores.

    besides that my screen never dims etc gaming on it causes it to get some what warm but the temps never seems to go over 65c
    Reply
  • jrharbort
    my g3 never gets hot. I even had that thing running bionic for 12hrs straight over night on 4 cores.

    besides that my screen never dims etc gaming on it causes it to get some what warm but the temps never seems to go over 65c
    Read more carefully. They said the "G3 Screen", which is different from the typical G3: http://www.gsmarena.com/lg_g3_screen-6750.php
    Reply
  • somebodyspecial
    This will be DOA. TSMC will be behind Samsung/GF 14nm, making it too little too late and again dead. TSMC 16 has been pushed into mid-late 2016 for mass production most likely. Apple/Qcom/NV/Samsung will all have 14nm samsung fabbed stuff for xmas at worst.

    I could be wrong but this really looks like DOA. I don't think they have a good enough SOC team to get the job done (two failures perf wise, and a third seemingly coming late on a late process?). If TSMC is late and so are you how do you win at 16nm?
    Reply
  • somebodyspecial
    I'm talking devices in hand above, not soc ship dates. The first 3 names left TSMC 16nm for a reason (xmas or earlier (in samsung case and probably apple) devices on 14nm). Good luck LG. TSMC supposedly is now dedicating all resources to resolving whatever Samsung figured out that won these guys. GF will get samsung info quickly (they share) so 14nm should be abundant for Apple/Qcom/NV (in that order I guess if rumors are true) and GF will benefit from TSMC's failure probably the most. If samsung/apple themselves use up most of samsungs fabs, GF will gain a bunch of customers they couldn't before (temporarily at least). My 2c.
    Reply