When Samsung ditched the Snapdragon 810 from Qualcomm in favor of its homegrown Exynos 7420 for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the industry quickly realized it was a smart move by the South Korean electronics firm, as other smartphones powered by Qualcomm's chipset quickly began exhibiting overheating problems.
However, the breakup between the two companies appears to not last for long, as the latest reports claim Samsung could be planning to create two variants of its upcoming Galaxy S7, believed to have the internal codename "Jungfrau." The first variant reportedly runs on the recently announced Snapdragon 820, while the second variant will be powered by one of Samsung's own mobile processors, possibly the Exynos M1.
The report comes from South Korean media outlet Dreamx, which says that Samsung is rigorously testing the Snapdragon 820 in its laboratories, most likely to make sure that the new processor will not experience the same thermal problems seen in the first version of the Snapdragon 810.
This is not the first time Samsung has been reported to rekindle its relationship with Qualcomm. In April, Samsung mobile chief J.K. Shin was heard saying that the company was not closing the door to Qualcomm.
"We have to use the best engines to make our products competitive, which is why we opted our own chips," Shin said following the Galaxy S6 launch. "But we may very well end up using products from Qualcomm again in the next Galaxy phone."
If Samsung indeed decides to renew its partnership with Qualcomm and use the new chipset, it is believed that the Snapdragon 820 variant of the company's 2016 flagship will be released in the United States and other Western countries, while the version running on Exynos M1 will remain in South Korea, in keeping with Samsung's previous custom of shipping the South Korean version of its flagship with its own chipset and the international version with one from Qualcomm.
For its part, Qualcomm, which was badly wounded when Samsung turned down the Snapdragon 810 for its current flagships, seems to be serious about getting rid of the overheating issues. For the Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm has reportedly done away with its usual Cortex-based architecture in favor of eight Kyro custom cores.
Other rumors, however, have pointed to a quad-Core Snapdragon 820 with "Hydra" cores and an Adreno 530 GPU, which is said to bring a 40 percent improvement over the Snapdragon 810. It is also believed that the chipset will have 14nm FinFET technology similar to what is used on the Exynos 7420, support for 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, Cat.10 LTE, 4K60 fps encode/decode and UFS storage.
Photo: Maurizio Pesce | Flickr