Semiconductor Design Tech
Samsung Electronics has started running projects in order to improve its own semiconductor design ability. This is mostly because Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong has directly instructed them to do so. The company also intends to maintain its initiative in semiconductor design technology, which is the foundation of not only mobile devices but also the upcoming era of the Internet of Things.
According to the semiconductor industry on March 17, Vice Chairman Lee recently ordered the company's executive team “to strengthen technology capability in order to design not only mobile devices but also various semiconductors.”
So Samsung Electronics’ System LSI division has recently started its own custom core technology development project for mobile application processors (AP). The company expects that it will see results by Q1 next year at the latest.
Unlike Apple and Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics has not possessed its own custom core technology mobile APs, the heart of smartphones. The company is also making progress on a project to develop smartphone chips integrating mobile APs and modems, for which the company has been depending on Qualcomm until now.
Samsung Electronics aims to mount its own integrated chip on high-end smartphones to be released after the Galaxy S6. The company will also expand its foundry businesses, which mostly produced mobile APs, and gradually diversify product groups such as graphics processing units (GPUs) and central processing units (CPUs) for PCs.
Since GPUs and CPUs have much more intricate structure than a mobile AP, they require more advanced processing and designing technology in the process of production. Samsung has signed various technology licensing contracts with STMicroelectronics.
Some say that Samsung Electronics should positively consider M&As with competitive semiconductor design companies in order to drastically improve the company's technical skills, since it started later than its competitors.