Comparing the sizes of flagship chipsets: Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei and Apple

Peter, 25 March 2018

There are four major manufacturers of flagship chipsets – Qualcomm (Snapdragon), Samsung (Exynos), Huawei (Kirin) and Apple (A-series). Three of those tend to be used in the respective companies' own flagships. Apple certainly doesn’t want to share while Samsung and Huawei rarely find outside customers.

We often talk about the power usage of a chipset – it’s important for the battery budget. Fabbing the chip at lower nanometers helps with that, but also balances the other important sheet. The price of a chip (patent costs aside) is proportional to its size.

This makes it tricky to find the right balance between CPU power, graphics performance and additional features (image processors, AI accelerators and so on).

For the curious, Tech Insights has annotated photos of the chipset dies of the four major players. A Snapdragon 845 is 25% smaller than an Exynos 9810. The Apple A11 Bionic is even smaller than the Snapdragon, but is the only one with without a modem on board. The Kirin is somewhere in between.

Here’s a scale image of the four chipsets (click for a closer look):


And here is a table with the sizes (note that the Snapdragon 845 size is estimated):

Chipset Size
Exynos 9810 118.94 mm˛
Kirin 970 96.72 mm˛
Snapdragon 845 91 mm˛
A11 Bionic* 87.66 mm˛
* not counting the external modem

To see if each company got its money's worth, here is how these chipsets perform in CPU and GPU tasks. (note: an Xperia XZ2 is standing in for the S845-powered Galaxy S9+)

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X
    10215
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    8883
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    8466
  • Huawei Mate 10
    6625

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X
    4256
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    3771
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    2454
  • Huawei Mate 10
    1882

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    55
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    47
  • Apple iPhone X
    44
  • Huawei Mate 10
    38

Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X
    1854
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    1481
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    1176
  • Huawei Mate 10
    1142

Source | Via


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Reader comments

  • g6 user

where did you find that (Snapdragon 820) is based on A57. and it is called Kryo 100..... if im not mistaken the s6 family had exynos but on 14nm smaller than 20nm sd808/810 had both using a56 cores and the Samsung solution putted miles away again...

  • user

QUALCOMM snapdragon chipset is coming in laptop also. and QUALCOMM snapdragon LTE fast modem also.

  • user

do u know !!!!!! QUALCOMM snapdragon is developing for Samsung exynos chipset.