Yesterday Samsung brought us news that something was about to happen with its Exynos lineup of SoCs. We popped-on our speculation caps (patent pending) and took a few stabs at working out what Samsung might have in store for us today. Some new low-power offerings? News about 64-bit components? As it turns out, all those guesses missed the mark, but what we got is still pretty noteworthy in its own right, as Samsung unveils its Exynos ModAP chip with integrated LTE radio.
Remember all the multiple hardware configurations we’ve come to expect from Samsung phones, with a few key version powered by Samsung’s own Exynos chips, but the majority of the rest (especially those for markets like the US) running Qualcomm Snapdragon chips? Qualcomm had a leg up on Samsung by offering its Snapdragon chips with built-in LTE radios, so for areas where LTE support mattered, Samsung couldn’t use Exynos chips. With the ModAP, that finally changes.
This first-gen Exynos ModAP chip isn’t quite up to par with some of the high-end Exynos 5 models: it’s a quad-core chip, rather than the octa-core configurations we find available now. But even still, this is a big step for Samsung, and future models in the ModAP family will presumably evolve with higher and higher-end performance. This first model is also only LTE Cat 4 compatible, instead of the Cat 6 LTE like on the newest Qualcomm chips, so there’s room to grow there, as well.