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Chipworks tears down the Galaxy S7 edge, exposing interesting CPU and camera findings

Chipworks tears down the Galaxy S7 edge, exposing interesting CPU and camera findings

After the Galaxy S7 got the celebratory teardown treatment, its now its dual-edged bigger brother's turn to lay on the dissasembly table. Canadian chip detectives Chipworks have gotten their meddling hands on the Galaxy S7 edge and are digging into its components as we speak.

Unlike other teardown websites which disassemble gadgets to rate their repairability, the guys at Chipworks are obsessed with figuring out every last chip and component's origin, which makes their output all the more interesting, but also time-consuming. Therefore, their work happens in stages. So far, so good, Chipworks has managed to take some brilliant shots of the GS7 edge's internals and has come up with interesting observations on the smartphone's camera setup and other components involved.

Sony supplied the Galaxy S7 edge's camera sensor.

Sony supplied the Galaxy S7 edge's camera sensor.

Just like Apple had transitioned from a 1.4 µm to 1.5 µm pixel size (with the iPhone 5 and 5s, respectively,) Samsung has increased the pixel size of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge’s rear-facing camera. While the S6’s 16 MP rear camera had 1.12 µm pixels, the S7 and S7 edge’s 12MP rear camera uses 1.4 µm pixels. Both Apple and Samsung has now settled on a 12 MP resolution, although at 1.22 µm, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus' cameras have smaller pixels. Chipworks also speculates that the Sony IMX260 camera sensor is indeed the one inside Samsung's hero phone duo, as the module itself has the "SONY" logo on its flex cable.

Chipworks also took their turn at explaining the 12MP camera's Dual Pixel Phase Detection (PDAF). Dual pixel phase detection autofocus (PDAF) technology! Canon pioneered this concept in 2013 with its EOS 70D DSLR. 80% of the 70D’s active pixel array is dedicated to the Dual Pixel CMOS auto focus functionality. It has now been adapted to mobile camera chips, with 100% of the 12 MP active pixel array dedicated to sensing and providing data to the auto-focus system. "What is impressive about the new dual pixel feature is the chip design team's ability to roll out this technology in a 1.4 µm pixel generation. Canon’s DSLR system used 4.1 µm generation pixels." – Chipworks notes.

There are other interesting observations, too. Apparently, Samsung adopted their own S6SMC41X touch screen controller (TSC) in their own phone for the first time. Chipworks first saw it in Chinese brand Doov's L5Pro phone a few weeks ago. Curiously, though, the LPDDR4 RAM memory is supplied by Hynix, rather than Samsung's own and very successful LSI division. It's probably Samsung Mobile differentiating suppliers, rather than relying on Hynix as the sole provider.

Chipworks also confirmed the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset carries the model number 'MSM8996', and noticed "a large increase in the interconnecting solder bumps" between the chipset and RAM memory (assembled in a package-on-package format) which could be due to the higher memory bandwidth and/or heat dissipation concerns.

The nimble Canadians will be updating their publication as they get other sections of the Galaxy s7 edge examined, so check out the source link below for the full story and images. This is excellent work on Chipworks' part and we'll be watching its ongoing development with interest, along with many of you!


source: Chipworks

56 Comments
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posted on 03 Mar 2016, 07:30 18

1. ibend (Posts: 3765; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


thats a really long and complicated way to say that S7 use 1.4 µm pixel size, and i6s use1.22 µm o.O

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 07:40 7

2. catze86 (Posts: 680; Member since: 07 Dec 2015)


It is another way to say Samsung is trying too hard to beat Apple..
Just Saying... *shrug*

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 07:49 70

5. TerryTerius (Posts: 1583; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


I'm not really sure understand what the accusation here is. Should Samsung not try to have better cameras than their competitors?

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 07:50 29

7. InsertUsernameHere (Posts: 370; Member since: 31 Aug 2014)


I was thinking the same thing.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 07:57

9. catze86 (Posts: 680; Member since: 07 Dec 2015)


I dont know. Perhaps that is because of my negative thoughts. I am just tired with journalistic world todays. They love too write everything without concern it is a fact or not. But It still better than AndroidHeadlines say 'Samsung Galaxy S7 will have Live Photo.. Too'..

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 09:29 7

26. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8811; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Yes you are negative. Go stand in the corner. Indefinitely!

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 12:25

40. natypes (Posts: 1081; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


Your shortest post ever.

Also, I bet I can tell you something with certainty everyone knows you DID NOT know.....There is a minimum 5 character limit to posts. haha

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 11:56 1

39. Hypergy (Posts: 54; Member since: 24 Feb 2016)


Yeah man, lighten up. If you have a sour stomach everything on the table looks bad.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 07:57 1

10. tedkord (Posts: 10602; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


And succeeding.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 08:02 15

13. sissy246 (Posts: 685; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


They didn't have to try to hard because they always bet Apple

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 08:17 10

19. KidAndroid (Posts: 29; Member since: 04 Nov 2014)


Trying hard to beat Apple..... They've been ahead of apple for at least 2 years now with camera / photo quality. Samsung's only part of their cameras that had anything to truly improve was low light quality to get rid of the pixelation that occurs in low light with Samsung's cameras of the past and they did just that and now low light shots are amongst the best on the market and beats out the newest iPhones in blind comparisons.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 09:28 8

25. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8811; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


They have been ahead since the S4 with the camera and since the S5 have killed nearly everyone except the Lumina with its 41MP sensor.

I just think we already have to have some poster who wants to cause trouble with negative things for no reason.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 08:22 9

21. mitchytan92 (Posts: 82; Member since: 02 Mar 2015)


I don't think they have to try hard because the iPhone 6S+ camera's isn't even impressive compared to the one on S6.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 07:43 23

3. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 584; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


True. Made me read twice.

Also, "Samsung now meets Apple head-to-head at the 12 MP resolution with its larger pixels".

Uhm, the S7 camera is way ahead the 6s series. It's like they can't handle defeat.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 07:47 1

4. Jimrod (Posts: 1066; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


Newer phone = better stuff, as has always been the way.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 08:01 28

12. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1498; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


but that wasn't the case with the iPhone 6s/Plus. Because the camera is inferior in most conditions to the Galaxy S6

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 09:29 9

27. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8811; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


iPhone newer phone, not so better stuff. Proof it's not always the way.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 13:00

43. medicci37 (Posts: 1271; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


Excepting 2015 you are correct Jimrod

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 07:49

6. InsertUsernameHere (Posts: 370; Member since: 31 Aug 2014)


They were talking about the resolution of the cameras, which are both 12 MP, not camera quality.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 07:50 4

8. TerryTerius (Posts: 1583; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


100% sure they were saying both cameras now have the same resolution. Which they do. They didn't say image quality is equal.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 12:32 1

42. twens (Posts: 958; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


I just don't get it. What has Apple got to do with a Samsung phone tear down? Why this this writers always find ways and means to include apple in every Samsung article. This is just too bad. Compare it to the s6 not an iPhone.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 09:12 1

24. zeeBomb (Posts: 1834; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


Chipworks the real mvp

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 11:53 1

38. Hypergy (Posts: 54; Member since: 24 Feb 2016)


S7 Dual Pixel AF just destroyed the AF on the Canon 70D. There's this Thai guy online, extremely funny, who did a comparison video. I highly recommend it for the laugh. Search youtube for " Samsung Galaxy S7 edge VS Canon EOS 70D"

posted on 04 Mar 2016, 00:52

49. KeyserSoze (Posts: 138; Member since: 06 Oct 2014)


iPhone 4 has a very large pixel size of 1.75 μm, but has only 5 megapixels making it very similar to HTC M7's ultrapixel camera which has a gigantic 2.0 μm pixel size and 4 megapixels.

posted on 06 Mar 2016, 13:36

55. JumpinJackROMFlash (Posts: 450; Member since: 10 Dec 2014)


And still the photos fom an iphone 4 are so bad I cringe.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 07:58

11. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS (Posts: 227; Member since: 29 Sep 2015)


It all links to Sony. Sony needs the xp to be godly compared to these others they lend out. Sony should make the next nexus, sales would top the billions.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 08:08 12

15. TerryTerius (Posts: 1583; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


I kind of doubt that considering Sony's own phones aren't selling well. I don't see why a Sony branded Nexus would do much better. Especially since Nexus devices have never been large sellers.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 09:11

23. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS (Posts: 227; Member since: 29 Sep 2015)


Buy a ps4 and get xperis nexus 50$ off. Billions billions I tell ya.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 09:39

28. marorun (Posts: 3366; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Nexus 4 been a big seller.
Same for nexus 5.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 10:13 1

34. TerryTerius (Posts: 1583; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


No, they weren't.

By most estimates, nexus 4 sales didn't even get close to reaching 1 million handsets. No one knows how many Nexus 5 phones were sold, and Google said that Nexus 6 sales were slow. They have always been far more popular among techies than the greater populace. The 5X and 6P may be a somewhat different story since Google is actually advertising them, but I wouldn't count on them being massive sellers either. That's fine, because Google only really has Nexus phones as reference and development devices anyway. At least that's the official line.

posted on 04 Mar 2016, 02:35

52. matistight (Posts: 431; Member since: 13 May 2009)


Nexus 6 sales were slow because of the price hike. I am blown away with the fact that Google allowed for a sub par (5X; with the lack of wireless charging, lack of amoled) phone and a very high end phone by a low end company (6P.) Huawei is known for their cheaper than dirt phones, so I found it hard to believe that the 6P is actually selling fairly well. Nexus sold well in the biased sense that where I work, it is a very common phone and they actually had stable sales in stores (sprint sold this phone in the store, along with t-mobile, while the nexus 4 was hit n miss in t-mobile stores only.)

I think Google needs to use a company that has expensive cheap phones to bring the brand up, and build it up like Apple. I say expensive cheap because of how the Sony Z5 came out like 6 months ago, still roughly $500+, the premium is $650+, just like the iPhone 6S/6S Plus. This is a phone that uses the newest processor, 20MP+ camera (for those that think megapixels are the future, if that were true, by a Lumia 1020 and call it a year.), horrible battery (it's fine, no one makes a good battery nowadays), water-resistant (but it really isn't), flaps that cover the ports (they're so bad, sony would sell the z3 with a replacement port cover), not to mention that glass on the front shatters extremely easy and renders the phone useless when it does (digitizer fails, even with a hairline crack.) They're horrible phones, but Sony has built up the name, so Google should take advantage of that before Sony gives up phones altogether. Google has killed the Nexus name for me by even thinking of using a cheap company like Huawei (which, by the way, killed the MyTouch brand.) All the nexus phones had their downfalls really.
HTC Nexus One-Battery blows.
Samsung Nexus S-Pretty much the same specs as the Nexus One.
Galaxy Nexus-Best one to this day, but the processor was cheap (Texas Instruments.)
LG Nexus 4-LCD, felt very cheap, lacked LTE when it was getting popular.
Nexus 5-Golden phone really, battery was decent, could have been better.
Motorola Nexus 6-Again, awesome phone, felt more premium, but the battery was terrible.
LG Nexus 5X-????
Huawei Nexus 6P-????

posted on 04 Mar 2016, 06:56 1

54. TerryTerius (Posts: 1583; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


Huawei isn't known for much of anything in the west, because most people have never heard of it. In any case, the 6P is a well-made and well received device. I doubt it's suffering from any real stigma due to who made it. Though I will grant you it was only somewhat recently that Huawei started making phones with a decent level of quality in their build, and skins that aren't horrific. Regardless of that, the point of contention was about sales. Nexus phones are not high selling devices either way. That's mostly because the average consumer has no idea what they are and has never heard of them. Like I said, this is the first time Google is actually advertising Nexus devices.

And yes, people know who Sony is but they aren't buying Sony phones. Sony is not exactly bringing a whole lot of name cachet to market so there's no real reason to think of a nexus device made by them would be some sales success whereas the others weren't.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 08:09 1

16. hohoho (Posts: 65; Member since: 12 Dec 2014)


you're an idiot

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 08:11

17. KidAndroid (Posts: 29; Member since: 04 Nov 2014)


Lol yeah because Sony phones sell well at all right..... Nope they don't and lose money constantly because nobody, well hardly anybody wants them. Sony does smartphone cameras the best and nothing else, Samsung does everything else best, except sound. The Nexus 6P is the best overall smartphone on the market right now with the only thing to complain about being that it doesn't have OIS which isn't a huge deal but would have made the phone perfect it's that good. So if any Nexus should sell well it's the 6P and I'm sure it's selling extremely well as Nexus devices go.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 09:40 1

29. marorun (Posts: 3366; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Sony dont sell because they make crappy exclusive deal with 1 carrier per country.

Stop making exclusive sell on all carrier and you will sell more.

posted on 06 Mar 2016, 13:39

56. JumpinJackROMFlash (Posts: 450; Member since: 10 Dec 2014)


Wow! Welcome to 2014 where the 6P would actually be the best phone... What ignorance. I'm amazed you want to display it so publicly...

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 12:30 1

41. natypes (Posts: 1081; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


I doubt it. You Sony fanboys are funny. You buy a phone that's "off the beaten path", but at the same time get mad b/c Samsung is so popular. You can't have it both ways guys. I don't mind Sony, hope they stay around. I like all Androids and don't usually say much bad about any of them.

Be together, not same.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 08:06 1

14. KidAndroid (Posts: 29; Member since: 04 Nov 2014)


Hope this Canadian company chipworks tears down the Exynos version considering that's the model us lucky Canadians will be getting. Exynos is the model you'll want if your into gaming or using your device for lengthy periods of time because the Exynos will run cooler and benchmark higher than the Snapdragon during extended use, the Snapdragon will benchmark better off the bat because Qualcomm is the short distance sprinter of the two and puts it all out on the track right away full speed then dies off getting throttled quite quick as always. Exynos > Snapdragon

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 08:38 1

22. j2001m (Posts: 2826; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


Very true, it clear that that exynos is being undercooked by Samsung big time, to keep it at sd820 level, you only got to look at geakbeach scores to see that, sd 820 drops big time down when it runs for some time, down to 1600 single score, why Samsung CPU keeps at 2000-2100 min in most cases, with the one off drop to 1800, the sd820 can drop off big time

posted on 04 Mar 2016, 00:07 2

48. vincelongman (Posts: 4150; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


On the AnandTech said Samsung Mobile are indeed underclocking the 8890

The S7's 8890 clocks are:
M1 @2.6 GHz (turbo boost)
M1 @2.3 GHz

The 8890's reference clocks are:
M1 @2.7 GHz (turbo boost)
M1 @2.4 GHz

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 09:46 1

30. marorun (Posts: 3366; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


KidAndroid so you used the SD820 version and saw it throttle? or right you did not so plz shut the **** up :)

Big little architecture is the main culprit for throttling the Exynos in S6 throttled easy 50% when extended benchmark or gaming use ( about the same as the SD810 but stangely no one talk about it ;) )

the GPU in the new Exynos is inferior to the one in the SD810 in most benchmark lol what a joke.

you guys know thats GPU is much more important for gaming than the cpu right? if you dont then you dont know what gaming is.

The GPU in the SD820 is much much faster than the one in the new exynos So my gaming client thats want performance ( i am in Canada ) will go for the G5.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 08:14 1

18. sissy246 (Posts: 685; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


Samsung will always win with better pictures

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 08:20 1

20. Trex95 (Posts: 879; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)


Just wondering how's the S7 camera is the best since the white balance totally yellow balance?!

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 09:59 1

31. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1498; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


Lol. Thats only visible in Low Light. Idk about the S7

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 10:05 5

32. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8811; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


This guy here I love his videos.
I dont care who wins. What I like is he is 100% fair.
He shows everythign side by side and lets you choose, but he picks what he thinks is best.

He uses both phones equally and even when your faborite may not be the opne that wins in a specific thing, he doesn't slap the other with some nasty fanboy notation.

Its a simple clean side by side comparison. All his videos especially where Samsung devices are compared to Apple or Sony and even LG should be viewed.

His S6 vs iPhone 6/6S were awesome and fair.

On 10 mins but worth every minute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6VUPgOzGlw

The audio on the iPhone still sucks. They really need to improve the audio with both the mics and the headphones. Even when I shove my beats headphones, it sounds better on a Galaxy. Apple needs to step up its game.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 10:27 2

36. bucky (Posts: 2470; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


first, you use beats headphones. Second, the audio on the iphone is always among the top phones and Samsung is known for distorting as soon as the volume goes up (think shrieking). Third, you are choosing someone who will give the nod to android. Its best to read multiple reviews and decide for yourself.

As always, your posts are completely incorrect and long winded.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 11:10 1

37. xocomaox (Posts: 122; Member since: 14 Dec 2015)


"first, you use beats headphones."

This.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 17:19 2

46. Ordinary (Posts: 2203; Member since: 23 Apr 2015)


"Samsung is known for distorting as soon as the volume goes up"

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s6-review-1227p7.php

Bottom page.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 10:08 1

33. Joosty (Posts: 115; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Awesome site. Always good to know where your parts are from.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 10:21

35. Tomgabriele (Posts: 27; Member since: 25 Feb 2016)


Is there a reason why you didn't want to mention iFixIt.com by name?

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 14:37 1

44. matistight (Posts: 431; Member since: 13 May 2009)


But realistically, they're saying that the sensor is open more, but smaller. Meaning the sensor has odd sizes really. Here is how i understood it.

4-.......................5MP x 1.75µm= 8.75µm
4S-.....................8MP x 1.4µm= 11.2µm
5-........................8MP x 1.4µm= 11.2µm
5S-......................8MP x 1.5µm= 12µm
6/6 Plus-............8MP x 1.75µm= 14µm
6S/6S Plus-.....12MP x 1.22µm= 14.64µm
S3-.......................8MP x 1.4µm= 11.2µm
S4-..................13MP x 1.12µm= 14.56µm
S5-.................16MP x 1.12µm = 17.92µm
S6-..................16MP x 1.12µm= 17.92µm
S7-...................12MP x 1.4µm = 16.8µm

Now critisize how you want, go as far as to say "That makes no sense at all!" But Apple wants to go up with their cameras, which they have(atleast they have in the last 4 years). Meanwhile Samsung has seen their first drop ever. If this article is going to say that µm matters, then I will say that it matters. So Samsung is not stepping up their game, but actually going backwards.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 15:43 1

45. xondk (Posts: 1232; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


with the dual pixel, shouldn't you be double the number of pixels last I checked? as such the S7's sensor size would be quite a bit bigger.

posted on 03 Mar 2016, 17:39

47. Trex95 (Posts: 879; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)


That what Samsung said!. Really like the S7 edge black, but after try it out and compare the camera with v10 and nexus 6p espically when it comes to white balance and colors accuracy at low light both nexus 6p and v10 win.

posted on 04 Mar 2016, 02:09

50. matistight (Posts: 431; Member since: 13 May 2009)


Yes, but really it is about the amount of pixels you capture in a photo. If people could, they would be thousands of feet away to get a picture and then zoom in if they could. Even on my S6, I can't take a picture that my eyes see. Try taking a picture of anything while you're driving, quickly, without really making sure you got the right photo. Even if it is focused, you'll still be disappointed.

posted on 04 Mar 2016, 02:30 1

51. xondk (Posts: 1232; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


I'm just referring to in terms of sensor size, in that aspect math doesn't quite work out because there's effectively double that number of sensors meaning that you need to double up, so sensor is not a step down but actually bigger then math indicates? Doesn't matter if or if not two pixels only give one result, they have a bigger area to capture the data on, and as such provide more accurate data and more light?

posted on 04 Mar 2016, 04:31

53. Hallyu (Posts: 328; Member since: 21 Jul 2015)


Look well organized.

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