Reports have emerged that Samsung is testing a staggering-quick new Exynos chipset. The Exynos 8895 has apparently been built on a 10 nm process and can deliver a maximum clock speed of 4 GHz.
The Exynos 8895 could battle it out next year with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 – the successor to the 2015 Snapdragon 820.
However, running a clock speed of 4 GHz inside a smartphone could be problematic. Heat dissipation and battery life are key constraints when it comes to modern handsets, and fast clock speeds have negative effects on both.
Interestingly, it has been reported that the Exynos 8895 has the same power requirement at 4.0 GHz as the Snapdragon 830 does at 3.6 GHz.
Greater power efficiency will aid battery life, but the reported discrepancies between the Exynos 8895 and the Snapdragon 830 are noteworthy.
There has previously been some suggestion that the Snapdragon 830 will be manufactured using Samsung’s 10 nm process, which not only helps deliver fast clock speeds but also better power efficiency.
It could be that Samsung has found a way of achieving greater power efficiency than Qualcomm, but the relatively large difference between the two perhaps demonstrates the somewhat speculative nature of the current rumours around 2017 chipsets.
If Samsung intends to use the Exynos 8895 for the Samsung Galaxy S8, and it is considerably more power efficient than the Snapdragon 830, the South Korean company will be left with a dilemma.
Samsung does not emphasise detailed specs of chipsets when launching new flagship devices.
But in recent years there have been geographic differences in chipset when it comes to S series smartphones. Anyone buying a Samsung Galaxy S7, for instance, will receive a device powered by either an Exynos 8890 or a Snapdragon 820, depending on where they live.
This has not been a major issue in the past, as whilst equivalent Exynos and Snapdragon chipsets have offered different strengths and weakness, overall performance has been similar.
But if one chipset holds significant advantages over another, Samsung will come under pressure to provide identical hardware across all regions.