Samsung is reportedly ending its ‘Mongoose’ custom CPU designs
Samsung chooses to use its own Exynos SoC in its flagships for the international market, while the same flagships use a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC in select markets like the USA. Within Exynos, Samsung has utilized custom Mongoose cores since 2016, starting with the Samsung Galaxy S7. A new report from Statesman suggests that Samsung is looking to lay off 290 employees, effectively shutting down its custom CPU department and indicating the end of its Mongoose custom cores.
Samsung has filed a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) letter with the Texas Workforce Commission, announcing its intent to lay off 290 employees and shut down the CPU project at the Samsung Austin Research Center, its Texas R&D facility. This WARN letter also includes the Advanced Computer Lab division in San Jose, California, though it is unclear how many layoffs are expected in Texas and how many in California.
Based upon a thorough assessment of our System LSI (large scale integration) business and the need to stay competitive in the global market, Samsung has decided to transition part of our U.S.-based R&D teams in Austin and San Jose.
The report from Statesman mentions that there will be no impact on the Samsung Austin Semiconductor manufacturing facility, which employs around 3,000 people.
Analysts suggest that Samsung will now license CPU core design from ARM and not just the IP. This means that the company is retiring only the custom Mongoose cores and not the entire Exynos SoC, and will instead adopt the ARM’s CPU cores or use them to create semi-custom versions, as Qualcomm does. This development will be good news to those who wished to achieve better performance and efficiency with the Exynos SoC as against their Snapdragon counterparts, and we can finally expect to see comparable performance on the same phone that gets sold in different regions.