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LG-Intel alliance likely to deal a blow to Qualcomm

[THE INVESTOR] For LG Electronics, designing and producing its own chips for mobile devices has long been a dream, so much so the tech firm has even been rumored to be acquiring a chip company, though those rumors failed to materialize.

LG has recently decided to collaborate with Intel of the US, a rival to Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm in the semiconductors sector, in producing its own chips.

At the Intel Developer Forum 2016, an annual semiconductor conference, in San Francisco, Intel and the Korean tech giant announced the US chip powerhouse will churn out chips for LG at its fabrication facilities utilizing 10-nanometer chip manufacturing technology. 


LG Electronics’ Nuclun mobile application processor. LG Elecronics
LG Electronics’ Nuclun mobile application processor. LG Elecronics

The chip will reportedly be a 64-bit mobile system-on-chip, which is anticipated to power LG’s flagship smartphone, anticipated to roll out next year.

The Korean firm said, however, no details of the collaborative work have been decided yet.

“The schedule for the mass production of the chip has not been set yet, nor which smartphone model will sport the chip,” a LG Electronics official said.

LG once utilized its own mobile processor Nuclun to power its G3 Screen smartphone, released in 2014, but the firm has not rolled out chips emblazoned with its brand on them since then.

For the production of Nuclun, LG worked with TSMC of Taiwan.

Instead of powering its smartphones with its own chips, LG has been deploying Qualcomm’s mobile chips so far.

Therefore, LG’s latest move to make use of its own mobile chips to be developed by Intel will likely deal a blow to Qualcomm.

Qualcomm’s mobile chip business has been struggling in recent years as Samsung, one of its biggest customers, has increasingly been adopting its own chip, Exynos, for Samsung smartphones. The sales slowdown of Apple’s iPhones, which are fitted with Qualcomm chips, also undermined the bottom line of the San Diego-based chip company in recent years.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)
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