This Samsung Rumor Was Fake

The tech press sometimes goes a little wild when it comes to speculation about next-generation smartphones and, more importantly, next-generation processors for mobile devices. One such rumor was that the next-generation Exynos system-on-chip slated for introduction in the upcoming Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF  ) Galaxy S5 would have the following characteristics:

  • Built on Samsung's 14-nanometer FinFET process
  • Be 64-bit capable

Of course, these rumors began to fly shortly after Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) announced the iPhone 5s with a custom-designed system-on-chip sporting a custom-designed 64-bit ARM processor. The sites promulgating this particular rumor didn't even bother to point out that Samsung had yet to ramp its 20-nanometer process, let alone the much more complex 14-nanometer FinFET process. Today, we have confirmation that this rumor was fake, fake, fake!

Clue No. 1: The leaked specs say Snapdragon 800/Exynos 5
Leaked benchmarks showing the two Galaxy S5 models both say the same thing: the Galaxy S5 will be powered by 28-nanometer silicon. In the case of the higher-end version with the quad HD display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 -- built on TSMC's (NYSE: TSM  ) 28-nanometer process -- will be used. In the lower-end version with a full HD display, Samsung seems to be employing yet another iteration of its Exynos 5 chipset, which is 32-bit Cortex A15 based.

This immediately shoots down the notion that the Galaxy S5 will sport 14-nanometer FinFET silicon and the rumor that it will be 64-bit capable. Sorry, but it looks like Apple gets to keep that marketing bulleting all to itself for now -- unless Intel's 64-bit Merrifield platform sees some real traction.

Clue No. 2: Samsung's problems ramping 20-nm for Apple
As far as non-memory chips go, Apple represents by far the majority of Samsung's chip business. According to BlueFin, a boutique research group, Apple is dual-sourcing its chips at TSMC and Samsung at the 20-nanometer generation. It seems, however, that while TSMC is having a fine and dandy time with the ramp of these chips for Apple, Samsung is experiencing crippling yield issues.

If Samsung is having issues ramping 20 nanometers, which don't use the difficult-to-build FinFET structure, then how on Earth could it possibly have gotten a 14-nanometer FinFET Exynos 6 chip out in time for the next-generation Galaxy S? It would seem that Samsung will need to first sort out its issues at 20 nanometers and get that node in high-volume production before we start even thinking about 14 nanometers.

Foolish bottom line
Don't believe everything you read, and always make sure to do a "sanity check" for too-good-to-be-true claims. The tech press likely confused the fact that Samsung had taped out a 14-nanometer test chip with the unlikely scenario of it actually going into production on a commercially viable, high-yielding system-on-chip that needs to live for much longer than the 5 minutes the test chips probably live. The Galaxy S5 will have 28-nanometer silicon, and the odds are good that it won't be 64-bit. 

How will you profit from the coming tech revolution?
Let's face it, every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying PC-maker Dell in the late 1980's, before the consumer computing boom. Or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer in late 1990's, when they were nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play", and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lock-step with it's industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified 1 stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2014, at 12:37 AM, dave923 wrote:

    Nothing new. Journalists now report things, with no hard facts. Getting the scoop is most important. That's the problem with the new age journalism. They report rumors as facts.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2841010, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/3/2015 5:47:28 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Ashraf Eassa

Ashraf Eassa is a technology specialist with The Motley Fool. He writes mostly about technology stocks, but is especially interested in anything related to chips -- the semiconductor kind, that is. Follow him on Twitter:

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,374.76 23.38 0.14%
S&P 500 1,951.13 2.27 0.12%
NASD 4,733.50 -16.48 -0.35%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/2/2015 9:31 AM
SSNLF $932.51 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Samsung CAPS Rating: ***
AAPL $110.37 Down -1.97 -1.75%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
TSM $20.07 Up +0.13 +0.65%
Taiwan Semiconduct… CAPS Rating: ****