Samsung’s Exynos yield is low, Galaxy S25 could be Snapdragon-only

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Last week, a reliable industry insider said that Samsung’s Galaxy S25 series may ship with a Snapdragon chip globally. There may not be an Exynos version of any model anywhere. Another source has now suggested the same, though it says the Korean firm is trying hard not to do that. It is desperate to keep a dual-chip strategy for its next flagships.

Samsung is racing against time to make an Exynos chip for the Galaxy S25

Last year’s Galaxy S23 series was Samsung‘s first and only S-series flagship lineup to lack an Exynos version. The company shipped the phones with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 globally. This year, it used the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in the Galaxy S24 Ultra globally but sold the other two models with the Exynos 2400 in some markets, including Europe.

Samsung was presumed to do the same with the Galaxy S25 series, selling the new flagships in Snapdragon and Exynos versions depending on the market. However, renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that the company is struggling with the yield of the Exynos 2500, leaving it no other option but to ship the Galaxy S25 trio with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 globally.

A new report from ZDNet Korea validates Samsung’s yield issues. According to the publication, the yield rate of the Exynos 2500 was in single digits in the first quarter of 2024. The company improved the yield in the second quarter but it is still hovering under 20%. In simpler terms, Samsung is producing only 20 usable chips from a possible 100, which is a massive production waste.

The report adds that Samsung must achieve at least a 60% yield rate for the Exynos 2500 to enter mass production. More importantly, it must do that by the end of the third quarter or in the early fourth quarter, i.e., between September and October. If the yield remains low, the company will have to exclusively use the next-gen Snapdragon chip in the Galaxy S25 series.

The switch to GAA architecture may be giving Samsung problems

The Exynos 2500 is a 3nm chip. Samsung is employing the more advanced GAA transistor architecture for its new process node. It appears this switch is giving the company problems. TSMC, which will produce the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 on its 3nm process, is sticking to the FinFET architecture. If Samsung fails to introduce Exynos 2500 to the Galaxy S25 series, it might bemoan the GAA upgrade.

That said, the Korean tech titan still has 3-4 months in hand. It might be enough to turn the tide and release an Exynos version of its next flagship. Fans may not be happy about it, though. Exynos chips have troubled Galaxy users too much for them to trust it anymore, even if early leaks hint at huge improvements. We should get a clearer picture of Samsung’s situation in a few months.

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