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Samsung again: The last time Samsung produced a Snapdragon was in 2023: the Snapdragon 835, found in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, OnePlus 5, Razer phone, and Essential PH-1. (Update: corrected)
Key point: Samsung will also be making its own 5nm Exynos chipsets, under a radical new approach. After disappointing performances from uncompetitive Exynos chipsets, Samsung cut its losses, dropping out custom designs in favor of Arm’s off-the-shelf Cortex IP. And, Samsung is partnering with AMD for Exynos graphics, too, licensing the RDNA graphics microarchitecture. We may see the first fruits from these new partnerships in 2023.
Sad fact: Samsung’s custom Mongoose CPU, even in the latest Exynos 990, has consistently struggled for power efficiency.
So while consolidation is bad for wider industry competition, flagships in 2023 using the latest Snapdragon and Exynos silicon are exciting, because the 5nm process looks to deliver both a boost to energy efficiency, and silicon area density. More density means more transistors and space to add more useful elements.
Sidenote: The drop from 7nm to the industry’s smallest 5nm manufacturing node doesn’t truly represent transistor geometry. Think of it more like a model number, but in this game, lower is better.
Add in two more competitors:
MediaTek attempting to close the gap to Qualcomm, with its own 5nm chipsets with speedy Arm CPU cores. MediaTek just hasn’t quite been at the top, but things change.
The Google ‘Whitechapel’ project, which reportedly is Google’s attempt at developing its own silicon, working with Samsung on 5nm chipsets.
Takeout: The Snapdragon 875 will be the first true test of Android hardware against Apple hardware.
Over on HUAWEI’s Kirin 9000, my colleagues haven’t completed all benchmarks of this chip to fully reveal all that we’re seeing. However, the Mate 40 Pro did outperform the Snapdragon 865 in all CPU benchmarks, even if the GPU fell short; a HUAWEI/Kirin issue for some years.
Perhaps more important is efficiency. Some super early data that isn’t yet fact-checked suggests at least double-digit gains in power efficiency for the Kirin 9000, thanks to the 5nm process.
What to expect from the Snapdragon 875? 5nm wins, and then some:
The next Qualcomm X60 5G modem should make the X55 modem look second-rate if it is indeed integrated, and not a separate chip. A complete SoC solution in one chip will reduce excess silicon in flagship smartphones, helping make more room for other components including battery and camera housings, and reducing power draw. We may even see support for dual-SIM 5G.
The silicon density increase we’ve seen in the A14 and Kirin 9000 improves power and efficiency in the 875, as mentioned: double-digit gains through process alone, even before CPU improvements?
And, it will also be a test of Samsung’s manufacturing prowess in 5nm.
Fact: Samsung announced in 2023 it would spend $116B to compete with TSMC and Intel in the made-to-order foundry business.
What it all means:
5G toting flagships in 2023, look on paper at least, to be more powerful and more power-efficient and with more internal space for components.
And while we should be able to say that every year, the jump between 2023 and 2023 flagships may well be one of the biggest and most important in some years.
Think more power but less power draw, a holy grail of sorts. Plus, more space for bigger batteries, and tricks like pop-up cameras made possible again.Popular News
C. Scott Brown hits it with the best opinion read of the week — as a long-time OnePlus fan, what does he personally think of the OnePlus 8T?
This is a great quote: “Ultimately, the OnePlus 8T felt like a lateral move as far as specs and a downgrade as far as design. When I think about the fact that I paid $749 for the top-of-the-line 7 Pro in May 2023, and the OnePlus 8T costs the same in October 2023, it makes my head spin.”
Check it out, it’s a nice insight into the problems facing OnePlus in its current lineup.
Also, our benchmarking and tests of the Apple A14 Bionic, is a great read.
Is iPhone silicon still more powerful than Android SoCs, asked Robert Triggs, and the answer is yes.
Does this mean Apple figured other elements, like the AI cores and image processing silicon, needed more boost within the limited space available? Is that what we’ll see in 2023 Android chipsets too?
Tech tweet of the week:
(It’s also valid to say it’s great to learn the skills involved in picking up the intricacies of Linux!!)Deals
If you’re shopping for tech right now, check out these popular deals — and keep out an eye out each day, we saw some great one-day-only deals this week:
Save $200 on a OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro at B&H.
Get the Bose QuietComfort 35 II at Prime Day prices with $150 off at Amazon
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority
This month, we’re giving away three prize packs! Enter the November giveaway for your chance to win.
First prize: OnePlus 8T and an AA hoodie
Second prize: Garmin Venu and an AA hoodie
Third prize: Sony WH-1000XM4 and an AA t-shirt
You're reading The Weekly Authority: The 5Nm Chipset War Of 2023 Is Going To Be Great
Popular news this weekSamsung:
Samsung’s Galaxy Book 2 series was announced at Samsung’s MWC Event, with Samsung launching four new Intel 12th-gen laptops running Windows 11. The highlight was the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360, which won an award from us, but key detail: the 13-inch version wins over the 15-inch, with the bigger model’s display looking a little stretched.
There was controversy about performance throttling on newer Samsung phones. Many apps and games were slowed in order to extend battery life. In response to backlash from customers, there will soon be a toggle to turn off the throttling.
In light of Samsung nerfing your favorite game, the folks at Geekbench have delisted many Samsung phones from their benchmarking charts, including the Galaxy S series, from the S10 up to the S22. All of the phones that Geekbench concludes are using Samsung’s Game Optimizing Service.Google:
This week we heard more about the Pixel 6a and the rumored Pixel Watch. The latter has been rumored for years and years, but seems to be getting closer.OnePlus:
150W charging is a big deal, and OnePlus is determined to launch it this year. That’ll be the ability to fully charge your phone in under 20 minutes. Not bad!Apple:
Buzz about the next Apple event coming up reached a fever pitch and finally Apple sent out invitations for its “Peek Performance” event on March 8.
Expectations are for: an iPhone SE 2023, or a third-generation of the older iPhone platform with the A15 Bionic chipset, plus a refreshed iPad Air, and new Macs.
Speculation is about an M2 chip, but it’s hard to know where that will land.Space:
A rocket from China’s Chang’e 5-T1 booster smashed into the moon on March 4, hitting the Hertzsprung Crater on the far side of the moon.
Finally, Steve Wozniak’s new venture via Privateer has been announced: It’s taking aim at space junk, with improved tracking.Movies/TV:
Interested in some upcoming new shows? Check out the trailers for Human Resources, Slow Horses, The Adam Project, and more.
Here’s our list of the best movies that landed on popular streaming platforms recently. Grab some popcorn and enjoy some classics.Gaming:
Gran Turismo 7 launched for Sony PS5 and PS4.
The Nintendo Switch is set for its best year of games, possibly ever.
Jonathan Feist / Android Authority
Jonathan Feist from DroneRush wanted to take a moment to address a concern that some of us may have:Where are all the drones?
Don’t forget to keep tabs on our partner site Drone Rush for more details.
If you’re looking to buy today, the DJI Mavic 3 Cine is about the best consumer drone you can buy. The DJI Air 2S is a more affordable alternative, and the DJI Mini 2 is a solid starter camera drone.Tech Calendar
March 4: Gran Turismo 7 lands for PS4/PS5
March 8: Apple Spring event
March 9: Redmi Note 11 Pro / Pro Plus launch
March 11 – 20: SXSW
March 15: Xiaomi 12 global launch date
By end of March: OnePlus 10 Pro global launchTech Tweet of the Week
In stark contrast to the awesome OSOM cable above, this sign was spotted in the wild.
Make no mistake, this cable concept has no data transfer capabilities for your phone, but it will get you from 4% to fire in record time.
Signing out for now,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 183rd edition here, with more Pixel 7 leaks, a Galaxy S22 Plus review, and a preview of what’s to come at MWC 2023.
👋 Nick here covering for Paula while she enjoys some well-deserved time off. Tristan will be with you in the next edition after spending the week at MWC in Barcelona, with Paula making her triumphant return the following week.
Popular news this weekMotorola:
Motorola’s latest flagship phone, the Motorola Edge Plus 2023 launched on Thursday. It features excellent specs, but is it really a viable alternative to the Galaxy S22 lineup?Apple:
Apple will reportedly debut an M2 chip with four new Macs this year, according to Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter and The Verge: A 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, 24-inch iMac, and redesigned MacBook Air are all expected.Samsung Galaxy Unpacked (part 2)
Technically the event starts on February 28, but Samsung’s second Galaxy Unpacked event for 2023 is scheduled for the 27th.
Samsung has already announced its flagship phones for the year, so this event will probably be focused on laptops.
That means a new Galaxy Book and potentially new Chromebooks to look forward to.OnePlus 10 Pro global release?
2023 has been a strange year for OnePlus, with the company already announcing the OnePlus 10 Pro in China, but withholding any information about a global release.
That could change at MWC. OnePlus isn’t traditionally heavy on MWC announcements, but since we already know what the device is, added fanfare might not be necessary.
One controversial element of a global release would be software. The Chinese version ships with Color OS 12 instead of Oxygen OS 12 as a result of the “OnePlus 2.0” strategy of merging OPPO and OnePlus.
And even Oxygen OS 12 is more similar to Color OS than most fans would like.
We also haven’t seen the vanilla OnePlus 10, so this might be our first look.New phones from Xiaomi, HONOR, and realme
Like OnePlus, Xiaomi has already announced several devices in its native China, but MWC may be the first time they’re shown off to an international audience.
That includes the flagship Xiaomi 12 lineup and new devices under the more affordable POCO branding.
Then again, we’ve already seen the POCO X4 Pro thanks to Amazon France, as mentioned above.
HONOR is set to announce the HONOR Magic 4 and a host of other devices. We may even see a global release of the Magic V foldable, which until now has been limited to China.
realme will launch the GT 2 Series on Monday, and the company has hinted at new charging tech.
The company is also expanding aggressively outside of China, so it will probably launch a wide variety of tablets, wearables, and other devices.Other expectations
HUAWEI will be in attendance, and while its smartphones all but disappeared from global markets, its laptops are still going strong. I’m excited to see updated devices in the Matebook lineup, particularly the Matebook X Pro (which I’m currently typing this on).
Lenovo is also in attendance, albeit only virtually. Expect new laptops and more.
HTC will make an announcement, but it’s probably not a phone. Perhaps more VR gear?
Google will make an appearance, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what it will announce. New hardware is doubtful, so expect software news.
Motorola already announced the Moto Edge 2023 earlier this week, but it may surprise us with a first look at the Razr 3. This is unlikely, however, as it would steal the thunder of its just-announced flagships.
Nokia will be present, but the company has largely lost its hold on the smartphone market. Expect some relatively unexciting budget devices, at best.Tech Calendar
February 27 @ 1PM ET: Galaxy Unpacked (next-gen Galaxy Book)
February 28-March 3: Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023 in Barcelona
March 4: Gran Turismo 7 lands for PS4/PS5
March 8 (TBC): Apple Spring event
March 9: Redmi Note 11 Pro / Pro Plus launch
Tech Tweet of the Week
🤵 I grabbed Mafia: Definitive Edition half-price in the Black Friday PS Store sales and it’s a seriously impressive remaster of a 19-year-old game.
Popular news this week
MediaTek Dimensity 7000 specs leaked and could power cheaper Galaxy A phones, Poco M range, and more.Xiaomi:
Xiaomi 12 series will be first to launch with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and leaks point to a December 12 launch.Realme:
Realme confirmed its first premium flagship is coming as Realme GT 2 Pro renders and specs leaked; if rumors are true this could be the most expensive Realme phone ever.
It’ll also pack the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.Meta:
UK regulators blocked Meta’s Giphy deal, the first time the watchdog has reversed a Big Tech acquisition.
And Meta’s crypto chief David Marcus announced plans to quit this week, stepping down at the end of the year.
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
The Final Fantasy Endwalker expansion is finally here, in early access! Though the game doesn’t officially launch until Tuesday (December 7), early access opened on Friday, whether you’re ready for it or not.
Square Enix has been anticipating lengthy queues, blaming an influx of new players and the global chip shortage preventing new Worlds from being created for players to log into.Who can play early access and when does it open?
A few handy things to know about early access:
It’s only available to those who pre-ordered the game on Steam, the PSN store, or through the Square Enix site.
The game costs $40 on Mac, PC, Playstation 4, and Playstation 5
Square Enix’s Endwalker FAQs are a good place to find more information on early access.
Early access runs until December 10, after which you’ll need a Final Fantasy Endwalker code to continue playing the game.How big is the expansion?
The total file size for the full game and Endwalker on Steam is 80GB. With the full game taking up 60GB, it looks like a 20GB download for the expansion, so make sure you’ve got enough space.Are there going to be long queues?
As with many early access periods, inactive players will be kicked after 30 minutes.
You may see Error 2002 codes when selecting a character, if the login server is experiencing high amounts of traffic.
Players on the full version of the game are prioritized for login over Free Trial accounts.
Even if queues don’t appear to be counting down, they’re still functioning, so don’t log out and lose your place!
No accounts are able to create new characters during congested periods.
Even once you’re logged in, you might also notice in-game queues when teaming up for instanced content like dungeons.What’s new in Endwalker?
Endwalker is Final Fantasy 14’s fourth expansion, drawing the long-running story to a close. As well as new areas to explore, weapons, and raids, there are two more jobs: the Reaper, who summons specters to fight, and the Sage, who can heal and buff other players. The Viera also has a new male race, where previously there were only females.
Polygon has a great rundown of all the biggest changes to expect.
What’s next for the Final Fantasy franchise?
It’s said to be a PS5 console exclusive.
It’s set in the fictional land of Valisthea.
The continent will have six factions on the verge of war due to The Blight, a sickness that’s spreading across the land.
No official release date has been confirmed yet, but the game is apparently “near to completion.”
At the Playstation showcase event, a sign in the video intro said “Valisthea 06.16,” which has led to rumors of a June 2023 release.
Trailers show a style similar to Final Fantasy 15 and the Final Fantasy 7 remake, though we haven’t seen much gameplay yet.
December 6-8: RISC-V Summit
December 7: Final Fantasy XIV’s Endwalker expansion official launch
December 12 (TBC): Xiaomi 12 series launch
December 14: Aliens: Fireteam Elite comes to Xbox Game Pass
December 17: The Witcher Season 2 hits Netflix
December 22: The Matrix 4 release date
Tech Tweet of the Week
Until next weekend!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor
The Weekly Authority: Pixel 6a, and Galaxy Note’s demise?
The Weekly Authority
The Weekly Authority: Moto Edge X30 and Pixel 6a leaks
The Weekly Authority
Ian Drennan, director of corporate enforcement at the CEA, said the authority marks a watershed moment for Ireland’s strategy on addressing economic and white-collar crime.
“With enhanced autonomy and significantly increased levels of investigative assets – including additional legal and digital forensics professionals and seconded members of An Garda Síochána – the Corporate Enforcement Authority will assume the ODCE’s current caseload and will, I anticipate, continue to build on the ODCE’s forensic and robust approach towards tackling serious breaches of company law and associated wrongdoing in both civil and criminal realms,” says Drennan.
The authority will have all the necessary human resources required, both Civil Service and members of An Garda Síochána, to pursue breaches of company law.
The Corporate Enforcement Authority’s powers
Since the CEA is statutorily independent, it will have more flexibility in recruiting specialist staff. (This is the main additional power, the ability to recruit experts when they are needed.) The CEA also works more closely with the police.
“I am pleased that this authority will have all the necessary human resources required, both Civil Service and members of An Garda Síochána, to pursue breaches of company law,” said Leo Varadkar at the launch of the CEA.
“Already, the budget of the ODCE has been increased by 20% or €1 million to €6.057 million, and my Department has sanctioned 14 additional staff to be assigned to the CEA.”
“The permanent complement of members of An Garda Síochána will double from seven to 16, and so the CEA’s total headcount will have increased nearly 50% over existing levels.”
The CEA will have a forensic and robust approach towards tackling serious breaches of company law and associated wrongdoing in both civil and criminal realms.
How will the CEA investigate breaches of company law?
“With enhanced autonomy and significantly increased levels of investigative assets, including additional legal and digital forensics professionals and seconded members of An Garda Síochána, the CEA will have a forensic and robust approach towards tackling serious breaches of company law and associated wrongdoing in both civil and criminal realms,” says Ian Drennan.
Why was the Corporate Enforcement Authority established?
The CEA was established because the ODCE lacked ‘proper teeth’.
The ODCE’s establishment as an independent agency was part of the Irish government’s ‘White-collar crime package’ of measures to enhance Ireland’s capability to combat corporate, economic, and regulatory crime.
ODCE’s historic under-funding has been well-documented and came into sharp focus when the trial of Sean Fitzpatrick collapsed.
In December 2023, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation reviewed the ODCE investigation. They found it lacked the skills, experience, and risk management processes needed to launch multiple complex investigations simultaneously.
The CEA is an independent agency rather than an office in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, which allows it to hire staff and determine their pay grades with the approval of the Minister.
What is the difference between the ODCE and the CEA?
The CEA’s statutory duties are similar to those of ODCE. However, the critical difference is that the CEA is an independent agency rather than an office in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, which allows it to hire staff and determine their pay grades with the approval of the Minister.
Therefore, the authority will have a greater degree of autonomy in recruiting specialists to handle the investigations.
As part of this autonomy, the budgetary allowance was increased by one million euros to six million in 2023.
Additional specialist staff, including legal and digital forensic experts, will be needed to allow the CEA to carry out investigations.
The CEA will be able to acquire passwords for electronic devices, conduct surveillance, and permit officials to participate in interviews alongside Gardai.
Will the CEA have any new investigatory powers?
The CEA’s powers will be similar to those of the ODCE, but somewhat stronger.
The additional powers are the ability to acquire passwords for electronic devices, conduct surveillance, and permit officials to participate in interviews alongside Gardai.
One hundred years ago, the Panama Canal opened for the first time. A triumph of turn-of-the-century engineering, it connected Pacific and Atlantic, expanding the worlds of maritime commerce and re-writing the sea lanes of the Western Hemisphere.
But with the canal came one major constraint: size. The locks of the canal are only so wide and so long and so deep, and while much of the ocean itself is boundless in what its depths can accommodate, the canal is a finite place. The maximum size for a modern vessel that wants to use the canal is known as Panamax. A Panamax vessel can be no longer than 965 feet, no wider than 106 feet, may extend no more than 190 feet above the waterline or 39 feet 6 inches below it, and no more than 65,000 deadweight tons.
The limitation was seized upon by naval theorists as soon as it was created. In 1916, Commander William Adger Moffet of the U.S. Navy wrote about the possible maximum size of warships, and came pretty close to the Panamax limit. Popular Science reported on it then in “The Thousand-Foot Battleship”:
Included with the story was an estimation that the theoretical size limit of battleships was 995 feet in length and with a displacement of 60,000 tons. Moffet’s theorized ship would have been as long as the American battleships Oregon and Pennsylvania, which were in service at the time, stuck together end-to-end.
The Proposed Panama Limit Ship
Shortly after the Great War, this limit became less an exciting space to fill and more a cage that impeded ship size. In response to submarine attacks during the war, British vessels attached pontoon boats around the outsides of many vessels (this is what’s known as “blistering” a ship). In a 1919 article, Popular Science wondered if blistering American warships would mean forsaking the canal:
Panama Canal Limitations For Warships
One possible solution to the narrow canal was adding another, larger set of locks. The United States, which completed construction of the canal and retained formal control over the canal zone for decades afterwards, attempted an expansion in the 1940s. The plan? Add a new set of locks at each entrance, and let more traffic traverse the main stretch of canal. “Enlarging the Panama Canal for Bigger Battleships,” in the September 1940 issue of Popular Science detailed this process, and explained the rationale behind it:
The project continued until 1942, when the demands of actually fighting the war caused the United States to cancel the project.
In the years since, most warships have remained within the constraints of the canal, but a few haven’t. The U.S. Navy’s Enterprise- and Nimitz-class carriers are all too big for the canal (at around 1100 feet long and 130 feet wide), and the new Gerald R. Ford class of carriers will be as well, even after the canal finishes its latest expansion project. Commander’s Moffet’s prediction was almost true: there was just one power willing to sacrifice the ability to send its ships through the canal, and that’s the same superpower that built it.
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