LG Could Make its Own Chips for Smart, Mobile Devices

This week, the Korea Herald reported that Korea's second-largest consumer electronics company, LG Electronics, plans to develop its own system-on-a-chip (SoC), codenamed Odin, for smart devices, following Samsung and Apple. An LG spokesperson has confirmed the report, saying that the company will indeed start mass producing a chip "soon." Unnamed sources said the company will begin in 2Q 2014.

Sources report that LG Electronics' unannounced chip will be manufactured by Taiwan-based foundry TSMC, and may find its way into LG's next smartphone, the G3, which the company hopes will make its debut before June. The chip may also be used in mid- to low-cost smartphones from both LG Electronics and other device makers.

Originally, LG was looking to introduce its chip and G3 smartphone in the third quarter of 2014. However, the release of Samsung's Galaxy S5 has pushed other Korean smartphone manufacturers like LG and Pantech to introduce their new phones earlier than planned in order to stay competitive in the smartphone market. That said, Pantech has moved the Vega Iron 2 release up to April.

Sources claim that despite Samsung's Galaxy S5, there are other reasons why LG is pushing for a pre-June release. If the company waits until this summer, the release may not have a huge impact on sales because consumers are on vacation. If the company waits until the third quarter to release the phone, then it will lose its momentum.

Although the SoC will be manufactured by TSMC, they will be based on an original big.LITTLE design by LG Electronics. Sources claim that this chip will have four 2.2 GHz Cortex-A15 cores, and four 1.7 GHz Cortex-A7 cores. There's speculation that the G3 will launch in South Korea with the custom processor, and launched everywhere else with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801/805 chip.

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  • ferooxidan
    You are making a new flagship phone. So why still using cortex A-15 where A5x already exist
  • ddpruitt
    I hate point this out but they're not really "making" they're own chips, neither are Apple or Samsung for that matter. Basically everyone licenses an ARM design, customizes it for their purposes and has TSMC print them out. That's why ARM is the most widely used architecture in the world. Saying LG is making they're own chip is like saying you're local McDonald's makes everything from scratch.
  • rwinches
    The real winner here is TSMC, but aren't they over loaded already? I find it hard to believe 2Q 2014 is a shipping date not a begin making date.

    TSMC seem to have good investment potential. ARM keeps chugging alone too.