After Honor is spun off from Huawei, it has always been a mystery who will supply mobile phone chips in the future.
First, the well-known digital blogger @Digital Chat Station revealed that the first new phone after Honor’s reorganization and independence has been put on record, code-named YORK, or named Honor V40. At the same time, the blogger also revealed that the Honor V40 will be equipped with MediaTek’s Dimensity chip.
Later, it was reported that Qualcomm and Honor have negotiated, and Qualcomm may supply Honor chips in the future.
However, in the fight for glory, Qualcomm is not idle, MediaTek is not idle, and even Samsung has begun to “secretly make waves”.
Some time ago, the official Weibo of @SamsungExynos liked a Weibo of @Glory Honor, which sparked speculation among netizens that this is a hint that Honor is going to be equipped with Samsung chips?
Samsung chips are disliked
In the mobile phone chip market, Samsung’s Exynos series chips are often forgotten. The reason is that the market share is difficult to match with Qualcomm, Kirin, etc., including Samsung’s own flagship phones adopt a dual-chip strategy, some of which use Qualcomm chips, Some use their own Exynos chips.
In order to achieve a breakthrough, Samsung Exynos has also been seeking customers. Before the reconciliation between Qualcomm and Meizu, Meizu has always been a loyal fan of Samsung processors because Meizu could not get Qualcomm processors. The top processors obtained by Meizu are often the top processors of the previous generation of Samsung, although the performance is not weak , but compared with the mainstream solutions on the market, it is still a generation behind.
After that, Qualcomm and Meizu reconciled, and Meizu began to use Qualcomm chips on its flagship phones, and the purchase of Samsung Exynos was diluted.
Samsung’s Exynos chip is a very interesting existence. On the one hand, it adopts the same self-developed architecture as Apple, but its performance is far from Apple’s. In 2018, Samsung Exynos 9810 adopts M3 core, but the energy consumption is released by Apple in 2017. Twice as fast as the A11, the performance lags behind by 55%. In desperation, Samsung announced in 2019 that it would abandon the self-developed architecture and adopt the Arm public version architecture.
In order to support its own Exynos chips, Samsung has always adopted a dual-chip strategy on its flagship phones, but this strategy actually reveals Samsung’s lack of confidence in its own Exynos.
Because the Galaxy S series equipped with Exynos chips are generally sold in South Korea, Europe, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa and other regions with less competition, while in China, North America, Japan and other regions with fierce competition, Samsung rarely sells models equipped with its own chips. For the Galaxy S series, only the Galaxy S series equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips will be released.
Earlier this year, Samsung users submitted a petition on Change.org to put pressure on Samsung to stop using its own Exynos SoCs on its flagship products. More than 10,000 people supported the petition. This petition directly shows that the market does not buy Samsung’s dual-chip strategy.
It is not only consumers who do not buy into Samsung’s dual-chip strategy, but Samsung itself is also full of contradictions.
Samsung mobile phone management believes that Exynos is not up to par, and it cannot even meet the minimum “product performance expectations”, so Samsung’s flagship phones have to adopt a dual-chip strategy, and even considered abandoning the use of Exynos chips for a time.
The System LSI department, which is responsible for developing Exynos chips, is full of complaints about the use of Qualcomm chips in Samsung mobile phones, and even feels “shame” that the Samsung S20 equipped with the Snapdragon 865 is released in the Korean market, and is inspired to be strong.
At this time, Samsung Exynos, who was facing a dilemma, unexpectedly welcomed a distinguished guest.
At the beginning of last year, there were rumors that vivo was going to enter the chip field. The official denied this matter. Many times, rumors are not unfounded water without a source.
At that time, vivo had indeed begun to prepare for “core-making”, but it was not completely independent research and development as rumored in the market, but sought cooperation with Samsung and used Samsung’s advantages in the chip field to help itself “core-making”. At this time, Samsung, who wanted to be ashamed, naturally would not miss such a good opportunity to strengthen itself, and the two sides hit it off.
In November of that year, vivo and Samsung held a 5G AI chip communication meeting, released the Exynos 980 at the same time, and officially announced that the new X30 series to be released in December will be launched for the first time.
Hu Boshan, executive vice president of vivo, said that currently it will not independently develop chips, but will set up a team of 300-500 people to be responsible for cooperating with upstream chip manufacturers.
After the first successful cooperation, in November this year, Samsung and vivo released the second chip Exynos 1080. This chip is based on Samsung’s 5nm EUV FinFE process, and the chip will be mounted on vivo’s terminal products. Make a starter.
The need for Exynos to exist
Although the current Samsung Exynos processor is far from Apple’s A-series chip performance, the original iPhone and iPhone 3G used the S5L8900, and the iPhone 3GS used the S5PC100. These three processors are basically developed by Samsung.
Later, in order to prevent the chip from being controlled by others, and the other party is still a competitor, Apple took the initiative to develop A-series chips based on the Arm architecture. In 2014, Apple released its first self-developed chip, the A4. Since then, Samsung and Apple have parted ways in the chip business. Later, the foundry of Apple’s chips was also handed over to Samsung’s rival TSMC.
In the second year after Apple released the A4 chip, Samsung also released the Exynos series chips based on the Arm architecture, intending to benchmark Apple’s A series chips, but later things failed as Samsung expected, the gap between the A series chips and Exynos The bigger and bigger, the word of mouth is also worlds apart.
Although Exynos is not dominant in terms of market share or performance, Exynos is a bit indispensable for Samsung. On the one hand, among the high-end mobile phone manufacturers, Apple has A series, Huawei has Kirin, and Samsung naturally has Exynos. Exynos is a spiritual totem for Samsung.
On the other hand, Samsung has Exynos, in addition to enhancing its bargaining power with Qualcomm, it can also nurture its own foundry business, which serves the purpose of checking and balancing TSMC. The maturity of the cultivation process.
good at seizing opportunities
It has to be said that in addition to its own efforts, the biggest factor in Samsung’s success is its ability to seize opportunities.
When the U.S. sanctioned Japanese semiconductors, it originally planned to sanction Samsung incidentally, but Samsung’s Li Jianxi successfully resolved the crisis into a turning point. He sent a team to the United States to lobby on the grounds that if the United States sanctioned Samsung, Japanese semiconductors may become bigger again.
Later, Japan semiconductor did not become bigger again, but Samsung gradually became bigger.
In terms of panels, Samsung counter-cyclically invested in panels, tying and surpassing the Japanese Panel industry, and established the global panel leader position in one fell swoop.
In the same year, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 “rolled over”, and Samsung used the chip orders for flagship mobile phones as a bargaining chip to get Qualcomm’s foundry business in the next few years.
This time, Honor is spun off from Huawei, and it is a foregone conclusion that Kirin chips cannot be used. Whether Samsung can seize this opportunity to make Exynos chips the guests of Honor mobile phones and use vivo and Honor to open up the situation will be the key.