As Samsung has now confirmed to a number of US media, the Texas-based Austin-based development team for ARM-based custom-engineered processors is expected to be completely disbanded. Recently, the local engineers and other developers had worked on CPU cores with high performance, which bore the name “Mongoose” or M1 or M2 among others.
Samsung Exynos 990 – New Naming Scheme, New Performance Peaks The high-end cores, along with unmodified cores from various ARM architectures, each formed the heart of high-end devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S10 and Note 9 and Note 10 used Exynos processors. Although they were able to keep up with Qualcomm’s chips in terms of performance, they also had some problems with energy efficiency recently. In addition, the modems of Samsung’s fully in-house developed SoCs may not offer the same connectivity performance.
As Samsung has stated, the reasons for saying goodbye to the US employees are a “thorough examination” of the business situation in the Group’s chip business and the ambition to remain competitive in the global marketplace. It had therefore decided that the US chip teams, which were also based in Austin next to San Jose, should no longer exist in the previous form.
Recently, the Group had filed a notice with the authorities in Austin, according to which the about 290 employees of the local site for chip development to be dismissed. Their cancellations will take place on December 31, 2019. With the dissolution of Samsung’s American team for chip design now probably disappears another provider, the “own” designed CPU cores based on self-developed ARM designs.
Several years ago, Qualcomm had already begun providing the high-end cores of its processors with “semi-custom” designs, after making complete adjustments. Samsung was thus basically the last remaining provider of ARM-compatible processors for smartphones, who still relied on complete “custom” designs for its high-end cores. In any case, Huawei, MediaTek and UniSoC use “only” the unchanged CPU core designs offered by ARM on the basis of various architectures.
Thus, basically only Apple remains as a developer of ARM-based smartphone processors with fully customized designs. For the industry, this means that Apple may be able to expand its massive lead in performance with ARM-compatible CPUs, even if this was already the case anyway, regardless of whether Samsung builds its own cores or not.
Only recently, Samsung had announced the Exynos 990, a new high-end SoC for smartphones, which still brings “Mongoose” cores. Currently , however, it is not sure whether this chip, which also has an integrated 5G modem, should actually find its way into the Samsung Galaxy S11.