Exynos versus Snapdragon has, traditionally, been an enormous speaking level in techier smartphone circles. The 2 processor manufacturers have dueled for the highest performer spot within the Android house for the previous decade. Not this 12 months although; the Samsung Galaxy S23 sequence ships completely with Qualcomm silicon (we haven’t famous any regional exceptions up to now). A “Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy” to be exact.

At first look, simplifying the worldwide product lineup with a single chipset appears lengthy overdue. Fanatic customers not should dive into the Galaxy S23 spec sheet, solely to lament completely different options or efficiency factors relying on the chip powering their area. World parity is assured with the S23 sequence, one thing we haven’t been capable of say for quite a few years.

A unified chipset can be permitting Samsung to lean into platform-specifics. As an illustration, the Galaxy S23 sequence makes use of Qualcomm’s cutting-edge imaging smarts for semantic segmentation for enhanced high quality and new pictures options. We gained’t have to stress over variations in picture sign processing or which chipset has the higher graphics driver help (Diablo Immortal on Exynos was famously a trainwreck, to call one instance) this 12 months. Nevertheless, this does imply we’re equally lacking out on Exynos pushing the envelope in areas Snapdragon has usually been slower, corresponding to video encode/decode and ray tracing.

World S23 parity is assured with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy.

Understandably, the Exynos versus Snapdragon headache is one which Samsung has been reluctant to debate overtly. Particularly in quite a few years of controversial silicon efficiency, corresponding to final 12 months’s fashions. And but Exynos has lengthy been a feather in Samsung’s cap.

Apart from Apple, Samsung is presently the one smartphone producer producing its personal silicon. The corporate additionally helped Google develop its semi-custom Tensor processor line-up. Not solely does that lend the model extra status however, in concept, Exynos ensures Samsung retains low-level enter on the path of the efficiency and important options of its handsets. To not point out it’s a wholesome buffer in opposition to Qualcomm’s dominance within the Android SoC house. With that in thoughts, the absence of an Exynos-powered Galaxy S23 is a obvious omission.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Giant AMOLED show
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 energy
Greater battery

$1,199.99 at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely

New 200MP predominant digicam
Stunning show
S Pen performance

Why drop Exynos now?

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Exynos 2200 logos

2022’s doubtful Exynos 2200 involves the foreground when attempting to elucidate why Exynos is absent this 12 months. Regardless of promising cutting-edge options like ray tracing, the chip overheated beneath stress, ensuing within the GoS throttling controversy. Following earlier points with its now-defunct {custom} Mongoose CPUs, maybe Exynos has had its day?

That might, nevertheless, be an oversimplification. For starters, Exynos had its justifiable share of design wins through the years and the earlier mannequin was aggressive. To not point out that silicon roadmaps play out over a number of years. Their time-consuming and costly nature means there can not often be snap choices. Secondly, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Gen 1 suffered from related efficiency limitations, owing to Samsung Foundry’s underperforming 4nm manufacturing node. Transferring to TSMC’s rival node solved the issue for the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.

The Exynos 2200 was simply the newest in a historical past of troubled Samsung chipsets.

After all, Samsung has by no means produced a flagship Exynos chip at its foundry rival and nearly definitely has no intention of doing so. That might be an admission of TSMC’s superiority, which might have knock-on results on Samsung Foundry’s aspirations throughout automotive silicon, cell, and different markets. Nevertheless, if foundry yield is a lingering concern, it might take months, presumably years to resolve, probably throwing Samsung’s chipset roadmap into disarray.

Sadly, numerous representatives ducked our questions on specifics on the lacking Galaxy S23 chipset. Nevertheless, according to Samsung in July 2022, “we’re reorganizing our system-on-chip (SoC) enterprise mannequin, and are pursuing a plan to strengthen our competitiveness within the mid- to long-term.” As a part of this restructuring, Samsung has reportedly fashioned a processor growth workforce inside its core cell enterprise, bringing the 2 a lot nearer collectively. However the fruits of this transfer will take years to seem.

Outdoors of Exynos, points at Samsung Foundry has prompted a broader reorganizing of Samsung’s SoC enterprise.

Within the meantime, Qualcomm previously noted that it struck a deal to energy the “Galaxy S23 and past” in a multi-year, international settlement. Studying between the strains, we would not see an Exynos-powered cellphone in 2024 both. Hypothesis is that Samsung may have a revamped chipset to launch in 2025, which might be a much-needed rebuff to the looming Qualcomm Oryon CPU-powered platforms coming within the subsequent few years.

So no Galaxy S23 Exynos mannequin. Are we lacking out?

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra case open

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Both method, an Exynos flagship appears to be like to be on hiatus whereas Samsung conducts root and department restructuring of each its foundry and silicon design ambitions and capabilities. The dearth of an Exynos Galaxy S23 isn’t merely right down to a single concern. There are broader indicators that Samsung’s semiconductor operations wanted to change into extra streamlined to raised compete with each its silicon developer and manufacturing rivals.

Sadly for customers, these points have come to a head simply because the silicon trade is at a crossroads. The rise of Arm-for-PC silicon, within the type of Qualcomm/Nuvia and Apple’s M-series silicon, introduced Samsung with the chance to maneuver past powering smartphones and tablets. A window that it’s going to now probably miss.

Samsung is reorganizing its SoC enterprise proper in the course of the most important transition in years.

Likewise, ray tracing for smartphones is simply in its infancy. Based on our early look, Samsung’s partnership with AMD for graphics yielded promising outcomes. It’s a disgrace that we now gained’t see what a second-generation ray tracing Exynos SoC can be able to.

After all, Snapdragon for Galaxy is an thrilling chip too, and can little doubt present loads of efficiency and options for this 12 months’s flagship handsets and past.  However that reaffirms the chance that Exynos could merely by no means reappear after this hiatus, regardless of Samsung’s rumored intention to come back again with a bang.

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