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.

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

Related phones

Galaxy S7 edge
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3600 mAh(36h 3G talk time)



1. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 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

2. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

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

5. TerryTerius unregistered

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

7. InsertUsernameHere

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 31, 2014

I was thinking the same thing.

9. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 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'..

26. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

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

40. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 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

39. Hypergy

Posts: 54; Member since: Feb 24, 2016

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

10. tedkord

Posts: 17362; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And succeeding.

13. sissy246

Posts: 7120; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

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

19. KidAndroid

Posts: 39; Member since: Nov 04, 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.

25. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 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.

21. mitchytan92

Posts: 92; Member since: Mar 02, 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.

3. spiderpig2894

Posts: 597; Member since: Jan 10, 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.

4. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

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

12. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

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

27. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

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

43. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Excepting 2015 you are correct Jimrod

6. InsertUsernameHere

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 31, 2014

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

8. TerryTerius unregistered

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

42. twens

Posts: 1177; Member since: Feb 25, 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.

24. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Chipworks the real mvp

38. Hypergy

Posts: 54; Member since: Feb 24, 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"

49. KeyserSoze

Posts: 387; Member since: Oct 06, 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.

55. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

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


Posts: 414; Member since: Sep 29, 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.

15. TerryTerius unregistered

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.


Posts: 414; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

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

28. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

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

34. TerryTerius unregistered

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.

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