Samsung made waves in the mobile device market this year when it opted to use its own Exynos processor in its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones. Amid early reports of Qualcomm's chips overheating, and likely to boost its own chip business, Samsung bypassed Qualcomm for the phones; the snub has negatively affected the latter's future outlook.
It appears that Samsung is trying keep the momentum going with its Exynos chip line, going so far as to create a custom core for the CPU, named the Samsung Exynos M1. The custom processor name surfaced in a set of release notes for the recently updated GNU Complier Collection according to SamMobile.
Many of the chips inside smartphones and tablets are based on the generic ARM architecture but a few companies -- Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia, to name a few -- tweak those licensed designs to offer different features or have better control over the hardware and software integration.
By creating the custom core, Samsung could improve power efficiency or add instructions that are optimized for its software on a mobile device. KitGuru notes the Exynos M1 could support the use of GPU processors for a wider range of tasks since Samsung is a founding member of the HSA Foundation.
HSA stands for Heterogeneous System Architecture and the foundation's mission gives a glimpse of what the Exynos M1 could be capable of:
"The HSA Foundation seeks to create applications that seamlessly blend scalar processing on the CPU, parallel processing on the GPU, and optimized processing on the DSP via high bandwidth shared memory access enabling greater application performance at low power consumption. The HSA Foundation is defining key interfaces for parallel computation utilizing CPUs, GPUs, DSPs, and other programmable and fixed-function devices, thus supporting a diverse set of high-level programming languages and creating the next generation in general-purpose computing."
With the current Exynos using a standard ARM core in production for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones, it's not likely the new Exynos M1 will appear anytime soon. However, it could be the processor that powers Samsung's next flagship phones. And maybe it will be inside mobile devices from other hardware makers; surely something Qualcomm won't want to see.