The timing may be coincidental, but is nonetheless ominous for Qualcomm, which must be hoping to win back Samsung’s flagship smartphone business. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge both featured the predecessor to this new chip – the Exynos 7 Octa 7420, having moved away from the Snapdragons used in the Galaxy S5.
Samsung seems pretty happy with its new SoC, which features 8 CPU cores based on the ARM big.LITTLE model, which pairs powerful cores with more energy-efficient ones and dynamically switches depending on the task, to try to minimise power drain. The more powerful cores represent the first time Samsung has designed its own, rather than using ARM designs, but the ‘little’ cores are standard ARM Cortex-A53s. It also uses ARM Mali T880 GPU cores.