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Exynos ModAP could mean no more Qualcomm chipsets for Samsung smartphones

Samsung's latest Exynos chipset includes LTE 4G for the first time - potentially freeing the company from using Qualcomm Snapdragon CPUs

Samsung has revealed its latest Exynos chipset, the Exynos ModAP, which looks set to make an appearance in the company’s upcoming mid-range smartphones and tablets, and could mean that it won’t have to rely on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon CPUs for its future flagship handsets thanks to an integrated 4G LTE modem.

Officially announced on the Samsung semiconductor media centre last night, the Exynos ModAP is Samsung’s first system-on-chip (SoC) to include an integrated LTE-A modem for 2G, 3G and 4G mobile data connectivity, with no need for a separate application processor as with previous Exynos designs. Built on a 28nm process, the ModAP will arrive with four cores, support for 8-megapixel cameras and compatibility with Samsung’s Exynos RF companion chip for further connectivity.

Samsung Exynos ModAP

Currently, Samsung produces two variants of its flagship handsets – an Exynos powered device for Asian markets, and a global version powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. Although this helps smartphones like the Galaxy S5 compete directly with other Qualcomm powered handsets like the LG G3 or HTC One (m8), it means Samsung is reliant on a third party to provide components. Considering the company controls practically every other part of the manufacturing process, including AMOLED display panels, flash storage modules and camera sensors, cutting the ties with Qualcomm seems like a logitcal step – one this new chip seemingly suggests is closer than we thought.

As the first Exynos ModAP chips will be stictly mid-range components it seems unlikely it will make an appearance in the upcoming Galaxy F smartphone or Galaxy Note 4 phablet – both handsets look set to use Qualcomm’s high performance Snapdragon 801 or Snapdragon 805 SoCs instead. However, now that the company has the technology, we expect it’s only a matter of time until it produces a high-end chipset to power future flagship devices.

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