Samsung ready to fling Exynos at anyone who wants a phone chip

Joanna Estrada
May 16, 2018

Samsung is reportedly in talks with ZTE and other OEMs about supplying them with Exynos chips.

"We are talking to all OEMs", said Inyup Kang, the head of Samsung's logic chip developer, System LSI, in an interview with the newswire.

Kang, a former Qualcomm executive, said he expects to announce a new client for its Exynos chipsets in the first half of 2019.

China's ZTE is likely in Samsung's sights, according to the report, as the firm was recently slapped with a seven-year sales ban in the United States which means it's no longer able to obtain chips from American chipmaker Qualcomm.

ZTE now represents a hard situation for many non-US companies looking to do business.

News of the talks between ZTE and Samsung come via a report by Reuters, which cites a senior executive as saying the Korean technology giant has been talking to a number of potential customers for its ARM-based mobile microprocessors including, most notably, Chinese phone maker ZTE. Qualcomm has dominated the mobile chipset market for years now, but it would appear that Samsung's interested in doing something about that. Meizu has launched its flagship smartphones with Exynos processor in the past.

Now ZTE's core business operations have been shut down post this ban and the company is looking for ways to widen its supply chain and is in talks with several companies including Samsung for supplying microprocessors.

Given product development lifecycles, that would mean a new third-party Exynos phone is already under development.

Out of this semiconductor business, memory chips contributed about 96 percent of the profits as it rode a "boom" cycle, while System LSI and foundry took up the rest with about 1.44 trillion won in 2017 operating profits, according to data from Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities. He declined to provide last year's growth rate.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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