Samsung begins mass production of its own 5G chips

Samsung has begun mass production for its 5G chips as it attempts to have an early impact in the shaping the next-generation network.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Samsung has commenced mass production of its 5G modems.

(Image: Samsung)

Samsung Electronics has started mass-producing its 5G chips, the company has announced.

Among the company's new chip offerings is the Exynos Modem 5100, which contains a 5G multi-mode chipset; it is the same chipset that is used to power the Galaxy S10 5G, which became available for sale in South Korea as of Wednesday.

The model, unveiled in August, is the world's first 5G modem to be compatible with the 3GPP's 5G New Radio (5G-NR) standard.

Mass production for its single-chip radio frequency transceiver, the Exynos RF 5500, and supply modulator solution, the Exynos SM 5800, have also started, Samsung said. These technologies also power Samsung's flagship 5G phone.

The Exynos RF 5500 has 14 receiver paths for download, 4x4 MIMO (Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output), and a higher-order 256 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) scheme for data transfer in 5G networks; and the Eyxnos SM5800 is 30% more power efficient than previous offerings.

The three chips all support 5G-NR sub-6-gigahertz (GHz) spectrum and legacy radio access technologies.

Samsung's leadership has been aggressively pursuing dominance in 5G to get ahead of rivals such as Qualcomm in chips and Huawei in wireless equipment.

For Galaxy S10 5G devices sold abroad however, some will use Qualcomm's X50 chip as a modem instead.

The boss of Samsung's System LSI business, which produces logic chips such as processors and modem, previously told ZDNet that 5G presented the company with opportunities it could not miss.

While the South Korean tech giant is the world leader in memory semiconductors, it has traditionally fallen behind rivals such as Intel and Qualcomm in the area of modem chips.

Its network business, which supplies wireless equipment, has also vowed to secure 20% market share by 2020.

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