Samsung is planning its own custom chips and 4k phone displays

After building processors based on ARM Holdings(s armh) intellectual property for years, Samsung says it will create its own 64-bit core for mobile chips. The company is also pushing forward in its display technology for mobile devices, expecting to bring 4k displays to phones in 2015 and continuing to work on flexible AMOLED screens. The information came from Samsung’s Analyst Day event on Wednesday, as noted by Android Beat.

samsung 64 bit

Based on the slidedeck snaps that Android Beat captured, Samsung didn’t disclose when it plans to debut silicon using its own core. It does appear that Samsung will transition first to 64-bit ARM chips and then follow up with its own processor.

At that point, Samsung would be even more like Apple in that it is customizing the design of its chips. Other device makers typically purchase “off the shelf” chips from Qualcomm(s qcom), Nvidia(s nvda) and others. Given how Samsung is trying to gain more control over its hardware, software and services, I suspect that chips with Samsung cores would only be in Samsung devices, but we’ll see.

The display news isn’t surprising to me but I’m still not sold on extremely high-resolution screens in small devices. Why? I’m not yet convinced the benefit of packing more pixels into an inch — Samsung is shooting for 560 pixels per inch (PPI) in 2014 — is worth the trade-off in powering such a screen. And if 560 PPI wasn’t enough, Samsung says the following year should bring 4k displays to phones.

Depending on the definition you use, that’s a screen resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels. Let’s assume this shows up on a 5-inch handset and do the math. We’re talking about a whopping 881 pixels per inch! If the human eye can’t resolve individual pixels around 320 PPI when holding a phone at a typical distance, what’s the benefit here?

Perhaps its just bragging rights, much like the race to the first curved glass phone. We’ll see when Samsung delivers on its plans and if the company’s efforts actually improve our mobile devices.