Samsung reportedly dropping Snapdragon for Exynos in Galaxy S6 due to heat issues

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is expected to launch at a press conference before or during Mobile World Congress, and the world’s largest smartphone maker is planning something big. Not only will its flagship come in two models, including of the curved screen variety, but it will reportedly feature a metal frame with a glass back, the first of its kind in a Galaxy S model.

Now Bloomberg reports that the company has been having heat distribution issues with Qualcomm’s new 64-bit Snapdragon 810 chip, which sports eight CPU cores and an off-the-shelf design. Qualcomm’s previous chips were based on a customized version of ARM’s Cortex-A15 template, and were renowned for their power-to-energy ratio.

It’s unclear whether Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 810 chip will not feature in any Galaxy S6 models or just the ones distributed outside the US, but Bloomberg paints an unfortunate picture for the semiconductor giant. Samsung’s own Exynos line has both grown in size and importance to the company in recent years, but it’s stumbling block continues to be lack of LTE integration, which is why Qualcomm’s intellectual property and patents are so prized in the US. Qualcomm’s close relationship with the carriers also plays a big part in its North American dominance, since each LTE-sporting device needs to be certified by the carrier and the FCC.

Qualcomm doesn’t seem to be hearing the same complaints from other manufacturers — LG’s G Flex 2 sports a Snapdragon 810, as does Samsung’s new Korean Note 4 variant — so it will be interesting to see if anything comes from this. It’s likely that instead of replacing the S810 completely, Samsung will lower the clock speeds of the faster Cortex-A57 cores to ensure a more manageable heat profile. But if that isn’t the case, Samsung has but one SoC to choose from: its new 64-bit Exynos 7410, which is almost identical to the Snapdragon 810.