LG may take on Samsung's Exynos chips with new custom mobile processors

LG V30 on phone
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
LG has filed for two new brand name trademarks with the European Intellectual Property Office, but neither is related to smartphones, televisions, or white goods. At least, not directly. Instead, the trademarked names are processors, the Kromax and the Epik. The descriptions are very vague, referring to them only as “Chips” and “Multiprocessor Chips,” and there’s no indication what devices these processors may end up powering.

LG produces a wide range of products, making it possible the Kromax and Epik chips could end up powering anything from refrigerators to robots, but it’s entirely possible these chips are destined for use inside a smartphone. LG has dabbled with making its own processor in the past, called the Nuclun, which wasn’t a success. It powered a single model, the LG G3 Screen — yes, it was that long ago — and wasn’t designed to take on the fastest chips from Qualcomm at the time. While rumors then spread of a more powerful Nuclun 2 processor, the chip itself was never released.

This may be because LG’s plans changed. In August 2016, LG and Intel announced a collaboration where it would, “produce a world-class mobile platform based on Intel Custom Foundry’s 10nm design platform.” At the same time, Intel and ARM announced they would work together on the development of an ARM system-on-a-chip based on Intel’s 10nm process. Could the Kromax and the Epik be the result of LG, Intel, and ARM all coming together?

Not only is it possible, it also makes sense. When LG released the LG G6 earlier this year it included the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor inside, and not the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, due to a lengthy wait time on the chip, because Samsung had a hold on the earliest shipments for use in the Galaxy S8. LG eventually used the Snapdragon 835 in the LG V30. Samsung has its own processor line, the Exynos, which is used in some internationally launched Galaxy phones and tablets. It also licenses them out to other brands, such as Meizu.

If the Kromax and Epik are future LG smartphone processors, the company could avoid having to settle for an older processor again in the future, should similar industry deals get in its way. An Intel/LG chip built using the 10nm process would be comparable to the Snapdragon 835 and the Samsung Exynos 9 8895, and provide LG with more ways to differentiate and customize its devices.

Business

Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Computing

Qualcomm’s dual-screen PC concept looks like two connected Surface Go tablets

In Qualcomm's video teaser, we got a glimpse of the company's vision for how a dual-screen ARM PC should work. The internet reacted to Qualcomm's video, calling the device in question merely a mashup of two Surface Go tablets.
Mobile

New Galaxy S10 leaks showcase display sizes, confirm headphone jack return

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

No, OnePlus won’t be first with Snapdragon 855, and 5G phone may cost $850

OnePlus will be among the first companies to put the new Snapdragon 855 processor into a phone, and will also release a separate and more expensive 5G phone in 2019 with the help of U.K. network EE.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Deals

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.
Mobile

Protect your new iPhone with one of our favorite iPhone XR cases

Apple's new iPhone range is the toast of 2018, with beautiful style and more power than you can shake a stick at. But beauty can often be fragile -- keep the damage to a minimum with the best iPhone XR cases.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Mobile

5G Coverage

Curious about 5G and what it means for you? Well here is our awesome one stop shop for all things 5g.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.