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ABI Research Teardown: Samsung Drops Qualcomm for Own Chipset in Galaxy SIII E210s – The Start of a Platform War?

The Galaxy SIII E210s was released in Korea recently and with its launch, Samsung sent a message to the chipset giant Qualcomm by dropping the Qualcomm modem in favor of its home grown solution. Samsung has historically been known for its high-end application processors that appear in a number of its smartphones but the modem in its product has typically been supplied by companies such as Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, STE, or Via Telecom.

Samsung LTE/HSPA+ modem (CM221S), Exynos Application processor and Wolfson Audio hub/codec (WM1811AE ...

Samsung LTE/HSPA+ modem (CM221S), Exynos Application processor and Wolfson Audio hub/codec (WM1811AE) (Photo: Business Wire)

VP of Engineering, James Mielke, stated that, “Mid last year it introduced a CDMA/LTE phone that was produced with a Via Telecom CDMA modem, a Samsung LTE modem, and a Samsung application processor. This combination became popular for Samsung during the remainder of the year. What makes this variant of the Galaxy SIII so interesting is the modem is a single chip HSPA/LTE integrated circuit designed and manufactured by Samsung.”

Key Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE (SHV-E210s) components include:

  • Samsung 2G/3G/4G 40nm modem- CMC221S (same main die as predecessor- CMC2200)
  • Samsung Quad core Exynos 4412 application processor
  • Samsung high performance ISP
  • Triquint QuadBand EDGE PA, AVAGO and RFMD 3G PAs
  • Broadcom BCM4334 WiFi/BT/FM single chip
  • Wolfson high performance Audio Hub WM1811AE
  • Knowles Mem microphones
  • STM Gyro and pressure sensor
  • FCI 2G/3G/4G transceiver FC7860
  • Maxim power management

As Samsung continues to capture more share of the smartphone market, Samsung’s growing reliance upon captive market solutions could prove to be a major concern for suppliers such as Qualcomm and Via Telecom. This move to manufacturing its own solutions plus Samsung’s recent purchase of CSR’s handset business could prove a key turning point that signifies a shift in the handset component market towards a platform battle between two major powerhouses of the mobile industry.

ABI Research’s “Samsung Galaxy SIII E210s” report provides detailed photos, process evaluation, and part descriptions for all of the major components. Tying all the information together are unique circuit board photos, performance measurements, processor benchmarks, cost information, and board area data.

It is one of thousands of devices and components in the firm’s Mobile Device Teardown (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/service/teardown-services/) Research Service.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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