Despite the fact that the world’s first smartphone to pack a Snapdragon 810 SoC has already been announced at CES 2015 under the name of LG G Flex 2, reports keep coming in suggesting that Qualcomm is facing serious issues with the production of its latest top-tier chipset. Rumors concerning the 810’s throttling issues have been circulated since December 2014, and despite Qualcomm’s reassurance that everything is going according to plan, more evidence shows that the chipset’s mass production could be postponed.
On top of that, some of the flagship phones set to be launched in the first half of 2015 might be delayed, or could hit the market with a different CPU under the hood. More details below.
Snapdragon 810 Said to Have Serious Throttling Issues
We dislike being the bearers of bad news, but the Korean media keeps on buzzing with reports regarding Qualcomm’s difficulties in mass producing the Snapdragon 810 SoC. A recent article from Korea Times is suggesting that, according to data gathered from Geekbench, the Snapdragon 810 has a serious overheating problem which leads to limited performance.
Another report, citing J.P. Morgan analysts Gokul Hariharan, Rahul Chadha and JJ Park, suggests that both the Snapdragon 615 and 810 have been plagued with overheating issues, but the problem persists in the Snapdragon 810. The source is of the opinion that the Snapdragon 810’s Cortex-A57 cores are at fault, as they seem to overheat whenever they exceed frequencies of 1.2-1.4 GHz.
That being said, analysts believe that TSMC (the company responsible for manufacturing the Snapdragon 810) will have to push back the SD 810’s mass production by about three months – one for prototyping and redesigning “a few metal layers of the chip”, and two additional months “for completing the metal mask layers in final production”. This might mean that the chipset might not be available in high volumes earlier than mid-Q2 2015.
The LG G Flex 2 is the world’s first smartphone to be unveiled with a Snapdragon 810 chip under the hood, but apparently the Adreno 430 GPU and the chipset’s 64-bit capabilities are not optimized and are known to be “incompatible with the G Flex 2”. LG and other manufacturers like HTC who rely on Qualcomm’s chipsets might face a serious problem, and according to J.P. Morgan’s analysts, these smartphone makers will be forced to either wait for the Snapdragon 810 to be fixed, or they’ll turn their attention to other chipmakers like MTK or Nvidia.
On the other hand, the aforementioned report claims that Samsung might be willing to go only with its own in-house produced Exynos SoC for the Galaxy S6, rather than postponing the launch of said device. But, like we said in one of our previous articles, this most likely will lead to limited availability, at least at first.
We’ll keep you posted as soon as we find out more.