The US may pull the Galaxy S10 short straw, again

The US may pull the Galaxy S10 short straw, again
Here we go again, the US may very well be stuck with not-the-best version of the Galaxy S10, if the latest tips about its rumored Snapdragon 855 chipset are any indication. First off the gate is the speculation that Qualcomm will be changing the naming scheme of its mobile processors, in order to differentiate them from its Snapdragon-for-notebooks line. Thus, instead of Snapdragon 855, which would cause a fair bit of confusion with the already-existing Snapdragon 850, meant for laptops, Qualcomm is reportedly going to tag the S10's processor as SM8150. Needless to say, this could also be the internal codename, and the S10's chipset may end up being called something completely new and exciting.

What's less exciting, however, is the claim that Qualcomm will use the TSMC foundry's 7nm process to build it, after all. TSMC is co-opted also by Apple for the A12 processor in the 2018 iPhones, which is expected to be the first 7nm mobile chipset in retail phones. That's all fine and dandy, but the Exynos 9820  that will reportedly go into the international version of the S10, is going to be built with Samsung's superior 7nm EUV process. The EUV lithography is much more advanced than the end-of-life optical one that TSMC will use for Apple's eventual 7nm A12 chipset in this year's iPhones.


Thus, even though both Snapdragon 855 and Exynos 9820 will be 7nm chipsets, the one from Samsung's foundries may very well be faster, more frugal, and/or with a smaller footprint. We are used to seeing differences in battery life and performance between the Snapdragon and Exynos versions of Samsung phones even when they are built with the same processes, let alone when there are different generations of the same node. 

Still, Samsung recently reported that it is partnering with Qualcomm to produce its 7nm 5G chips in the new S3 factory, so hopefully, those modems will land in the S10 stateside, rather than Qualcomm's 7nm X24 modem that brings pre-5G download speeds of 2Gbps. Samsung already tipped that the S10 might not be its first 5G phone, so we'll keep our ear to the ground on that one.

source: Winfuture (translated) & Ronald Quandt

Related phones

Galaxy S10
  • Display 6.1" 1440 x 3040 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3400 mAh

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26 Comments

1. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

"Thus, even though both Snapdragon 855 and Exynos 9820 will be 7nm chipsets, the one from Samsung's foundries may very well be faster, more frugal" How can you say that for sure? Nobody know how will these chips perform in real world scenarios yet. If anything, Apple will get couple of months worth of a head start in 7mm chip game. That's huge considering how fragile the smartphone market is right now.

4. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

The smartphone market isn't fragile. Maybe it is for smaller OEM's. The fact is, based on the technology Samsung is deploying, which is why QC is using TSMC, is Samsung's process is more costly. What will makes Samsung's offering faster is, the chip will have less transistors, and produce less heat because of that. Less heat means more speed. More speed means you will also have a longer period of peak performance before the chip needs to throttle down to cool down. This is why SoC and CPU's in general usually can't perform at peak performance for a sustained amount of time because of the need to keep them cool. PC's are not as affected because they have active cooling. And since you can deploy even better options like liquid cooling, that means you can have sustain high output with no heating issues. You should actually go and read the details of Samsung's new 7NM process vs TSMC and maybe you can actually learn something. Samsung's chip will be faster, because it can be clocked higher, because heat will be less of an issue, which in turn means longer period of peak performance.

8. NateDiaz

Posts: 1092; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Piyath, you must listen to TechSceptic.

2. notmyresident

Posts: 12; Member since: Feb 12, 2017

PA propaganda machine has started already.

3. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Sounds like QC is taking the cheap route by using TSMC. Because Samsung's more advanced 7NM process is to pricey and it means less profits. Even though QC doesn't have to split its profits with anyone. It's so amazing how companies who charge and arm and a leg for their stuff, refuse to pay and arm and a leg for stuff of equal or better quality. Apple and Qualcomm should just merge. They would be good for each other.

5. Man_Utd

Posts: 190; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

So vote with your money and buy the international version.

23. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

"Sounds like QC is taking the cheap route by using TSMC. Because Samsung's more advanced 7NM process is to pricey and it means less profits" It has bugger all to do with price! Samsungs 7nm EUV only came online a few weeks ago (july), early yields will be very low untill they ramp up production early in 2019. The fact is they cannot physically produce enough chips to meet QC's demand. QC will use TSMC till Samsung is at full production then they will switch.

6. AbhiD

Posts: 856; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

And people call it iPhoneArena. There couldn't be a better example of an article completely biased towards Samsung. I mean it's so obvious, how blindly the author tries to prove Exynos superior to Snapdragon. Would like to remind this guy of this year's Exynos debacle. Not only Exynos this year turned out to be poorer in GPU performance (which it every year is), it also sucked in CPU department. Just for bragging rights and numbers Samsung went completely wrong way. Designed a SOC that was only good at crunching Single Core scores at Geekbench. When it came to real world performance, was inferior in battery life, throttled heavily and provided poorer performance. Anandtech analysis and various YouTube comparisons showed Snapdragon clearly winning against Exynos. Also how does one know Samsung manufacturing process is superior? That's such a blind faith. Declaring someone winner even before the competition started. One shouldn't forget when Apple depended on both TSMC and Samsung for it's SOCs, TSMC version came out superior. As far as 5G modem is concerned, PA wants us to believe something based in hypothesis again. There is no proof whatsoever. Do you really think Samsung will sell Snapdragon version in US without 5G while rest of world with Exynos gets 5G compatibility? I wonder if this article could have been more biased than it is!

12. Macready

Posts: 1830; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

"One shouldn't forget when Apple depended on both TSMC and Samsung for it's SOCs, TSMC version came out superior." No, according to one source. According to Apple they were within margin of error, but another comprehensive test actually showed a difference in favor... of the Samsung version. On average a hair faster, running less hot while being up to 11% more efficient. And we know it came at a smaller footprint. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.tomshardware.com/news/iphone-6s-a9-samsung-vs-tsmc,30306.html

7. Rigmaster

Posts: 234; Member since: Jan 22, 2018

And still yet the devices will be judged by some other factors than these just mentioned....

9. Hairs_

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

This article makes no sense on any level. Snapdragon 845 in the US version of the s9 is far more powerful, efficient, cooler and performant than the exnyos in the international version. Exnyos isn't used by any vendor apart from Samsung, and even samsung don't trust it. Different process nodes may help, but Qualcomm are producing better chipsets and have been for years.

10. cmdacos

Posts: 4324; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Member for 9 mins.... Do some research before you troll...

11. baldilocks

Posts: 1545; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Actually he is correct. Pull up some Youtube vids of both versions of the S9 and you will see that even though the synthetic benchmarks for Single Core is much higher on the Exynos, it's real world performance was generally slower than the SD845. And I've been a member for a little bit longer than 9 minutes. :)

14. Macready

Posts: 1830; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

In the GSMarena test, the Exynos version did show better battery endurance overall though.https://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s9_performance_and_battery_standoff_exynos_9810_vs_snapdragon_845-news-30430.php

16. Hairs_

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

Anandtech have done the most research on this and it's not pretty. Part one of their deep dive follow up trying to fix the international version. anandtech.com/show/12615/improving-exynos-9810-gal​axy-s9-part-1

21. Macready

Posts: 1830; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

They've done research on the technical bits going on under the hood, but their battery tests are actually less comprehensive, at least for the reader. Because the ones from GSMArena are not only more easily repeatable for the reader, they, the reader can actually customize the usage comparison based on your own usage pattern. That's my only real beef with Anandtech to begin with, their comparison graphs often have little real world value. Look at their speed comparisons for example, which heavily weigh on browser tests with browser dependent scripts, which often disregard other cores, which for Android phones, has no real world value (I don't have a single app nor have I seen one that only uses a single core). And as cmdacos below points out, almost every previous iteration of the Exynos CPU, outperformed its Qualcomm counterpart, both in speed and especially efficiency. This is the first time where the comparison is more murky due to issues going on under the hood.

20. cmdacos

Posts: 4324; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

While there is evidence that this generation of Exynos performed worse than the competition, that's not historically the case. Also the trolls comment about only Samsung using exynos is incorrect. They do sell these to other brands (Meizu [sp?] being the only somewhat recognizable brand).

13. baldilocks

Posts: 1545; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

....and the SD845 in my OnePlus 6 blows both of the Samsung phones away in performance.

15. AdeelSoomro

Posts: 61; Member since: Oct 26, 2017

Means you are using iPhone replicate ;)

19. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Indirectly you said that iPhones are faster.

26. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Oneplus is faster than iPhone, check that on youtube..

17. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1347; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

We all know that the reason the US market gets the Qualcomm powered devices is because Samsung doesn't have the patent rights to put LTE into Exynos for the US.

24. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

They do have the rights to use QC's patents for LTE as anyone can use them, you just have to pay for the licencing. The way QC has set up it's FRAND for LTE means that it is cheaper for Samsung to actually buy and use the 845 than it is to licence the LTE patents for Exynos. This is the exact reason Apple is hauling QC through the courts as QC is abusing it's LTE patents through overcharging and monopolising the US LTE market.

18. imlegitcusimthasht

Posts: 306; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

unlike years before, SD845 s**ts on the latest Exynos. GTFO with this hating ass article

22. nodes

Posts: 1163; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

at this point, do we should even care about the latest and greatest chipsets used in latest flagships?

25. Slytherin

Posts: 268; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Roll on the Mongoose M4 cores

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