Samsung’s Exynos Chip Team Was Reportedly Humiliated for Choosing to Sell Snapdragon Galaxy S20 Variants in South Korea


It’s pretty much a known fact by now that Samsung has been struggling with its Exynos chip division, as the company’s most powerful Exynos 990 isn’t able to match the performance and efficiency capabilities of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865. Both chipsets are found in various Galaxy S20 models, depending on which country you live in. If you’re residing in the U.S., any Galaxy S20 model you purchase is fueled by the Snapdragon 865, while any model sold in Samsung’s home market of South Korea was treated to an Exynos chipset. However, things took a different and reportedly, an ugly turn when it was decided that the Galaxy S20 models sold in South Korea would feature a Snapdragon 865, not an Exynos 990.

Samsung’s Shareholders Were Reportedly Not Too Pleased With the Decision to Sell Snapdragon 865 Variants of the Galaxy S20 in South Korea

If Samsung’s Exynos chip division decided that it was in the best interest of their customers that Snapdragon 865 versions of the Galaxy S20 should be sold in South Korea, then they’ll probably receive lots of two thumbs-up from customers reading this. Unfortunately, that decision wasn’t taken lightly by Samsung shareholders, as they reportedly grilled employees in a recent meeting, while also asking if there were any plans to improve the Exynos chip division.

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According to local media, the explanation of selling Snapdragon versions of the Galaxy S20 wasn’t delivered properly during the shareholders meeting. However, the decision was made because the Exynos 990 was not meeting Samsung’s chip division’s performance expectations, even after there were multiple evaluations had taken place. The struggle of Samsung’s Exynos chip arm are nothing new as the Korean giant had to shut down its custom core development facility in Austin, Texas last year.

Since the decision was to continue using the Snapdragon 865 for Galaxy S20 models sold in South Korea, Samsung’s LSI division felt ‘humiliated’, according to reports. There were also efforts made to reverse the decision, but looking at how things turned out, the efforts made were in vain. While there’s no evidence to support that Samsung’s LSI team was humiliated, if you made considerable efforts and working overtime to see a homegrown silicon found in the flagship models that were going to be sold in your home market, you’d be proud too. Now imagine if a decision was made in which your hard work was laid to rest, all for nothing. You’d be livid too.

Is Samsung Doing Anything to Improve Its Future Exynos Lineup?

At this time, Samsung hasn’t confirmed if it’s making the decision to allocate more resources to make its future flagship Exynos chipsets better in every way, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t interesting rumors floating around. The latest one talks about the development of an Exynos 1000, which will reportedly be made on Samsung’s 5nm node. Since Samsung might not rely on its performance-focused Mongoose cores, the upcoming Exynos 1000 might take advantage of ARM’s Cortex-A78 cores, and possibly the use of AMD’s RDNA architecture, or an ARM Mali-G78 GPU.

There are also reports that Samsung is working on a custom GPU solution, but since there haven’t been any follow-ups regarding this, we think perhaps the Korean manufacturer decided not to go down this route. Regardless of what the company’s decision will be, it better have something ready to take on Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 875, which too is said to be on 5nm technology, but TSMC’s node will most likely be used in this case.

If Samsung doesn’t come up with a reply of its own, we might see the Galaxy S21, or Galaxy S30 variants sold in South Korea fueled by Qualcomm’s flagship SoC and not Samsung’s.

News Source: Hankyung