It is said that Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S5 LTE-A, which is slated to be unveiled in March or April in London, will be equipped with its own Exynos application processor and Intel’s communication chip, unless compatibility is ensured between the Exynos and Qualcomm’s chip.
This reflects Samsung’s intention to reduce its dependence on Qualcomm and willingness to use its own AP in the Galaxy S series. Recently, the company planned to mount the Exynos on the Galaxy S4 LTE-A, but could not do so due to the instability between the Exynos and Qualcomm chips.
Two of the most important parts of a smartphone are the modem chip handling communications and the AP for smooth software operation. Qualcomm is currently the world’s most powerful supplier of modem chips and integrated chips combined with APs.
If Samsung does not opt for Qualcomm’s modem chip, the most promising alternative is Intel’s XMM 7260. It supports carrier aggregation technology, with which two frequency bands are combined for faster mobile communications, and time division long-term evolution (TD-LTE). Samsung’s adoption of the XMM 7260 is expected to provide some advantages in its efforts to penetrate the Chinese market as well, because China is using TD-LTE. At the same time, the single-chip AP can be supplied to smartphone manufacturers targeting the market, which will lead to higher competitiveness in component manufacturing.
In the meantime, Qualcomm is going to release its next-generation modem chip supporting LTE-A in the first half of this year. “It seems that the timing of the release of the chip will determine whether or not the Galaxy S5 will come with the Exynos,” said an industry insider.