Samsung drops own chip for Galaxy S22 in South Africa

The Samsung Galaxy S22 lineup will be available in South Africa from 11 March 2022, and in a surprising twist, it will launch in the country with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor.

Samsung South Africa director of integrated mobility Justin Hume said that production and lead times were the primary reasons the company decided to switch to Qualcomm chips.

“Either chip will give us a great product,” he said.

When it comes to the Galaxy S series’ processors, South Africa has previously only received models with Samsung’s own silicon — Exynos.

However, this year South Africa was among several countries where the company dropped its Exynos chips in favour of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Android Authority reported that Samsung fans in the US, India, South Korea, South Africa, and the UAE would all receive Snapdragon-based devices.

Those in the UK and Europe will still get the Exynos 2200 variant of the S22.

Looking at the history of Snapdragon and Exynos chips in Galaxy S devices, the Snapdragon 865 that shipped in with the S20 lineup outperformed the Exynos 990 version.

In 2021 the S21 lineup came with either a Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 chip, and although CPU performance was very similar, the Snapdragon’s Adreno GPU outperformed the Exynos.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Exynos 2200

Samsung’s Exynos 2200 is the first System on Chip (SoC) to support hardware-accelerated ray tracing. It also features a powerful AMD RDNA 2 architecture-based Samsung Xclipse GPU.

Ray tracing helps produce more-realistic shadows and reflections, along with improved translucence and scattering in video playback and games.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 does not support ray tracing, but it features an Adreno 730 GPU, which is claimed to offer 30% better performance than its predecessor, the Adreno 660.

Early benchmarks suggest that the Adreno graphics processor in Qualcomm’s chip outperforms the Samsung Xclipse GPU.

Qualcomm and Samsung use the same octa-core CPU configuration for their 2022 processors, with one Cortex-X2 core, three Cortex-A710 cores, and four Cortex-A510 cores.

However, their operating frequencies differ slightly.

When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning processors, the Exynos 2200 has a dual-core neural processing unit (NPU) and digital signal processor (DSP), while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has a 7th generation Hexagon NPU and DSP.

A comparison of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s and Exynos 2200’s benchmarks. Source: GSMArena

Both are manufactured using Samsung’s 4nm EUV process, built on ARMv9 architecture, and support LPDDR5 memory.

The Exynos 2200 trumps the Qualcomm chip in display capabilities, with Samsung’s chip capable of playing back 4K video at 120Hz. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 can achieve a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz for 4K content.

However, this is irrelevant for the Galaxy S22 series, as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s display runs at a maximum resolution of QHD+.

Both chips can display QHD+ content at 144Hz.

Samsung’s SoC features Exynos’ integrated 5G modem can achieve maximum download speeds of 10Gbps. The Snapdragon chipset reaches the same download speeds through Qualcomm’s X65 5G modem-RF system.

The specifications of each SoC are summarised in the table below.

Chip specification comparison
SoC Exynos 2200 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
CPU Octa-core, built on ARMv9 Kryo Octa-core, built on ARMv9
CPU Cores 1 x 2.80GHz (Cortex-X2)

3 x 2.52GHz (Cortex-A710)

4 x 1.82GHz (Cortex-A510)

1 x 3.0GHz (Cortex-X2)

3 x 2.5GHz (Cortex-A710)

4 x 1.8GHz (Cortex-A510)

Manufacturing Process
Samsung 4nm EUV Samsung 4nm EUV
GPU Samsung Xclipse 920 with ray tracing Adreno 730
AI Processor Dual-core NPU and DSP 7th generation AI Engine with Hexagon DSP
Display capabilities Up to 4K 120Hz, QHD+ 144Hz Up to 4K 60 Hz, QHD+ 144 Hz
Modem Exynos integrated 5G modem

10Gbps max download

X65 5G Modem-RF

10Gbps max download

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Samsung drops own chip for Galaxy S22 in South Africa