LG Electronics (SE:066570) of Korea is the latest company to license the ARM Cortex A15 architecture, which will allow it to design processors based on ARM’s IP. The license gives LG access to A9, A15 CPUs as well as the Mali graphics core.
This means an all out war with Samsung, which manufacturers its own ARM-based processors. Up until now LG has relied on OMAP-processors from Texas Instruments for its smartphones. And we all know who is fabbing things like that for TI, Samsung.
As LG does not have its own facilities to fab processors, it will probably partner with UMC or TSMC of Taiwan. TI is also considering moving to UMC and leaving Samsung after being extremely upset with the treatment – or rather lack of same – they have received. TI has made it quite clear that it thinks that Samsung is spending too much time on Apple and its A4- and A5-processors and not paying enough interest to other customers.
And then Apple is also taking an extra look at Samsung, which is not only supplying processors to Apple, but is also a serious competitor in the smartphone and tablet segments.
It could very well endup with Samsung losing a major part of its foundry business.S|A
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