Beleaguered Chinese networking equipment and smartphone maker ZTE is reportedly in talks with Samsung Electronics over sourcing the company's Exynos mobile microprocessors.
The news follows on from the implementation of a US trade embargo against ZTE over sanctions busting, which bars US companies from trading with ZTE - instantly cutting out up to a quarter of the company's supply chain.
News of the talks between ZTE and Samsung come via a report by Reuters, which cites a senior executive as saying the Korean technology giant has been talking to a number of potential customers for its ARM-based mobile microprocessors including, most notably, Chinese phone maker ZTE.
"We are talking to all OEMs," said Inyup Kang, the head of Samsung's logic chip developer, System LSI, in an interview with the newswire.
Kang, who is a former Qualcomm executive, added that Samsung may well announce a new client for its Exynos chipsets in the first half of next year.
However, Samsung said in a statement that no deal of any kind with ZTE has been reached so far.
Earlier this year, Samsung announced it has begun rolling out the long-awaited Exynos 7 Series 9610 microprocessor to customers around the globe.
The processor taps into the electronic giant's 10-nanometre FinFET process, which it claims "elevates the multimedia experience in high-end smartphones".
The CPUs are intended for high-end mobile applications, including deep-learning image processing and 480 frames per second slow motion video recording.
The Exynos 9610 processor consists of four ARM cortex-A73 cores that run at 2.3GHz, as well as an additional four 1.6GHz cortex-A53 cores to help smartphones run apps and multiple tasks quicker.
Samsung's semiconductor business reported an operating profit of 35.2 trillion won (a whopping £24.5 billion) in 2017. The company said that this contributed to more than 65 per cent of its whole record annual profit of an eye watering 53.65 trillion won last year.
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