Recently, Chipworks managed to get their hands on the Galaxy S6 and tear down the device to get a closer look at the ICs (integrated circuit) present in the device, which allows for additional analysis of the device. We’re still working on our full review, but we can take a quick look at what Chipworks has found in the device.
This includes an Exynos 7420 SoC that we’ve previously discussed, a Shannon 333 modem along with a Shannon 928 Transceiver and Shannon 710 envelope tracker for the RF front-end. Interestingly, they’ve found an ST-Microelectronics touch controller, which seems to be for the display. Given that most of the Galaxy S and Note family uses Cypress’ CapSense solution for the capacitive touch keys, it’s likely that this is true for the Galaxy S6 as well. Interestingly enough, Chipworks has also identified a Samsung C2N8B6 companion ISP present in the Galaxy S6.
Probably the most interesting aspect of the teardown thus far is that the die size of the 14nm FinFET Exynos 7420 is about 78 mm^2, which is incredibly small compared to the 113 mm^2 size of the 20nm Exynos 5433. It’s unlikely that this is purely due to process as the metal interconnect pitch improvements are relatively minimal when compared to 20nm HKMG, so it’s likely that we’re looking at a great deal of optimization in layout and possibly some IP blocks removed in order to reduce die size. With a die shot floorplan we should be able to figure out exactly what Samsung did to achieve this, and get a good idea of what Samsung has done for the Exynos 7420 which should help with our full review of the Galaxy S6.