Samsung to pull a Qualcomm and design an ARM compatible processor, shipping in 2014

All the smartphones and tablets worth buying these days use chips that are “ARM compatible”, but what does that even mean? ARM is a British company that designs processors that companies then license and create chips with. The Exynos 5 Octa for instance, it uses four ARM Cortex A15 cores and four ARM Cortex A7 cores. The same design process is used by MediaTek, Broadcom, even NVIDIA.

Some companies, however, opt to go down a different path. They call up ARM and ask them for what’s called an “architecture license”, meaning they get all the documentation required to create their own processors. Qualcomm is the best example of this. The Krait cores in the Snapdragon family are well known. Even Apple makes their own cores, with the codename believed to be “SWIFT”.

According to the Korean publication ET News, Samsung wants to be more like Qualcomm, so they’re in the process of designing their own processor. They even have a quote from an anonymous Samsung Electronics employee who says consumers will see products using this custom core either in the first half of 2014 or at the latest the second half.

Will Samsung do a good job? Probably, but I’ll wait for the benchmarks first.

Update: Link from ET News updated to English version of the original Korean article.