Reuters reported the Korean chaebol is talking with ZTE and other OEMs to start supplying them with mobile processors in order to up its rivalry with Qualcomm.
However, Samsung's Head Logic Chip Developer recently said that the company's "talking to all OEMs" about supplying the Exynos line to more and more brands - one of which being ZTE. Kang sounded confident that Samsung would reveal a new licensee in the first half of 2019.
The news follows on from the implementation of a USA trade embargo against ZTE over sanctions busting, which bars United States companies from trading with ZTE - instantly cutting out up to a quarter of the company's supply chain.
Regardless of U.S. -China trade talks, Kang said Samsung will continue discussions with ZTE.
Samsung's System LSI business saw a 27 percent rise in shipments past year, Counterpoint says. Qualcomm has dominated the mobile chipset market for years now, but it would appear that Samsung's interested in doing something about that.
The processor taps into the electronic giant's 10-nanometre FinFET process, which it claims "elevates the multimedia experience in high-end smartphones".
He said Samsung is in discussion with multiple automobile companies to develop chips for autonomous driving, declining to name the vehicle makers.
Given product development lifecycles, that would mean a new third-party Exynos phone is already under development.
System LSI still uses Samsung's foundry for all of its manufacturing needs, but is in talks with other contract manufacturers to diversify production in areas Samsung's foundry isn't prepared for yet, such as high-voltage automotive products, Kang said.
Currently Samsung, which is the world's smartphone manufacturer, is also the world largest semiconductor based microprocessor chipset manufacturer in the world. He declined to provide last year's growth rate.