Samsung Will Make Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Chips With Enhanced Malware Detection

Samsung Electronics will make the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 mobile processors, raising speculation the chips could find their way into the South Korean giant’s smartphones, according to Samsung has begun producing logic chips using the 14-nonometer Low-Power Plus (LPP) process that it also uses for its Exynos 8 Octa processor. Samsung expects the process to be in the devices in six months.

Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 820 is 30% more efficient than its 810 processor and should not suffer from overheating, according to Qualcomm has also developed an app to showcase new malware detection capabilities. By using machine learning, the SmartProtect app distinguishes new forms of malware rather than just checking for known malware in a device. It will even explain why the app has malware and how sure it is that danger exists.

It will be up to the smartphone manufacturers whether they want to integrate the malware detection feature into their phones.

Enhanced Fingerprint Scanning

The Snapdragon 820 also has ultrasonic fingerprints scanning technology known as Sense ID. A demonstration at last March’s Mobile World Congress made a positive impression on The scanner uses ultrasound to read deeper into fingerprints and verify identity. The technology reads all the way down to the finger’s sweat pore, making the readings more accurate and the device more secure.

Samsung chose not to comment on whether or not the Snapdragon processor will be designed into its phones, such as the upcoming Galaxy S7. That device is rumored to be announced at next month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, and there is speculation it could use the Snapdragon 820.

Qualcomm said it has always and will continue to use a variety of fabrication suppliers. A Qualcomm spokesperson said via email that the decision to select a specific process technology is based on the ability to meet the company’s design goals for power efficiency, performance, and yield.

Will The Chips Be In Galaxy S7?

Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said the chip fabrication agreement does not necessarily translate into Samsung using the Qualcomm chips in the Galaxy S7. He noted in an email that Samsung operates its businesses in a very disconnected manner, with its semiconductor and mobile businesses very separate. He said he does not believe the fact that Samsung builds the 820 raises its chances of being in the SGS7.

Qualcomm lost business from Samsung when the smartphone maker opted to use its in-house Exynos processor instead of the Snapdragon 810 chip in the flagship Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge smartphones. In April, Qualcomm cut its revenue guidance for 2015, saying it did not expect an immediate change in its share of components in premium Samsung devices.

However, a shift could materialize since the 820 provides better performance than the Exynos. Moorhead said Samsung has to use the 820 to be more competitive with Apple. “820 hits performance per watt levels Exynos just can’t hit,” he said.

Also read: Samsung promises 3-layer security-enabled smart TVs while trumpeting IoT future

A Faster, More Efficient Process

Devices built around chips that are made with the new process can also be faster and more power efficient. Samsung said its new 14-nm LPP process brings up to 15% higher speed and 15% less energy consumption than the previous 14nm LPE (Low-Power Early) process using improvements in process optimization and transistor structure. In last year’s first quarter, Samsung announced its Exynos 7 Octa processor built in the 14nm LPE process.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Lester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.