After much rumors about Samsung dropping their own Exynos chips for the Galaxy S23 series, it seems that it might be all but confirmed right now. Samsung has just extended their patent license agreement with Qualcomm all the way until 2030. Along with this, they also announced that Snapdragon platforms will power upcoming premium Samsung Galaxy products. This includes their smartphones, PCs, tablets, XR and more.
The main gist of their licensing agreement is in regards to Qualcomm’s dominance with their cellular modems, but I guess Qualcomm threw in some extra T&C to get Samsung to use their Snapdragon chips as well to seal the deal. In any case, Samsung’s best efforts with their Exynos has proven to be insufficient, as the Exynos 2200 with the AMD RDNA 2-based Xclipse 920 GPU still failed to impress.
Coupled with Samsung’s ailing foundry business, it is probably a good choice to work closer with Qualcomm. Perhaps this partnership will also see Qualcomm passing more business to Samsung’s foundries, although I sure hope Samsung won’t be the one making the flagship Snapdragon chips. We already saw what happened to the Snapdragon 888 series and 8 Gen 1, and I do not want to see a repeat of that.
For those who are worried about Qualcomm monopolizing the mobile chipset market, fret not. Samsung is reportedly working on an ambitious custom SoC that will power their flagship smartphones. We can expect to see it sometime in 2025. In the mean time, MediaTek is throwing down the gauntlet across all price segments, which is something that I am also quite excited about.