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.