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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 issues could delay flagship phones in 2015

Rumours have again surfaced regarding overheating issues with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 mobile chip, with some reports suggesting that this year’s batch of top-end smartphones, from manufacturers such as Samsung and LG, could be held back by their reliance on the chip.

Reports began to emerge late last year that Qualcomm’s most powerful creation to-date, the Snapdragon 810, was struggling with heat-related issues. The charge was that the chip’s Cortex-A57 cores were struggling to cope with overheating when clock speeds reached 1.2 to 1.4GHz, and as a result Qualcomm was having to throttle back to prevent even bigger, system-wide problems.

Qualcomm has denied that there is an issue with their chip, but further claims have since been made regarding the Snapdragon 810’s consistency, most recently in the Korea Times, which stated that the 810 was suffering from “problems such as overheating at certain voltages and performance degradation caused by memory controller problems.”

J.P. Morgan followed up with a left-hook of its own, with its analysts stating that “QCOM’s new 64-bit Snapdragon 615 and 810 chips are suffering from overheating issues.”

It’s been suggested that these problems may exist because the company had to speed up development of the 810 after Apple surprised the world with the launch of its A8. This suggestion appears to be backed by the fact that Samsung’s Exynos 5433, which also relies on the Cortex-A57 infrastructure, is having none of the same problems.

Analysts believe that Qualcomm may have to go back to the drawing board with the Snapdragon 810 and redesign certain parts of the chip to prevent the issues re-occurring. This suggestion isn’t likely to sit well with Qualcomm’s executives though, as any major delay could see customers jump ship for rival manufacturers like NVIDIA.

It is worth noting that Qualcomm is maintaining its innocence in the face of theses increasingly vociferous claims, but if there’s even a shred of truth to them we can expect to see delays in devices that were set to include the chip. The likes of Sony’s Xperia Z4 Compact, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and LG’s G Flex 2 have either been confirmed or are heavily rumoured to feature the new chip, worrying news as their launches are imminent – or in the case of the LG G Flex 2, we’ve already had a play with the device.


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