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Samsung making Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 CPU

Samsung has announced that it has won the right to produce Qualcomm’s new top-end chip, the Snapdragon 820.

After a faltering 2015 in which its Snapdragon 810 chip caused all manner of problems, leading the likes of the Samsung and LG to seek alternative options, Qualcomm is widely tipped to return to dominance in 2016.

The Snapdragon 820 is expected to power the majority of 2016’s Android flagship phones – or at least those released in the first half of the year.

Samsung has just announced that it has commenced mass production of chips utilising its own 14nm FinFET process technology, and one of those chips will be Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820.

Samsung’s 14nm LPP process produces up to 15% higher speed and 15% less power consumption over the previous 14nm LPE process, which was used to power last year’s Exynos 7 CPU. That was the chip that powered Samsung’s entire 2015 flagship range, including the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5.

Many have been surprised by reports that the Samsung Galaxy S7 will run on the Snapdragon 820, rather than Samsung’s own next-generation Exynos chip, given the impressive performance of the aforementioned Exynos 7.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review

However, the fact that Samsung is the company producing the Snapdragon 820 perhaps makes this decision more understandable. A mutually beneficial agreement has clearly been reached.

Of course, Samsung’s chip-making business has always kept itself separate from its smartphone concerns. It has long been a key supply partner for Apple, despite the rivalry and downright animosity between the two companies’ smartphone operations.

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