Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo will aid its mission to build a larger global presence in smartphones and tablets by designing its own line of processors, reports on Monday claimed.

EE Times' sources said the company will hire 100 engineers by the middle of the year in order to aid a small chip engineering team it has kept on the books over the last decade.

The decision may be in response to Samsung's reported refusal to supply Lenovo with the latest generation of Exynos 5 Octa processor, an eight-core beast currently in production.

Until this point, the report claimed, Lenovo had enjoyed the freedom to pick and choose its processing suppliers, which have included Samsung Exynos, Intel Atom with the K800 and MediaTek.

NEC and BlackBerry on the menu?

The speculation comes following reports this weekend that Lenovo had entered talks with struggling Japanese electronics company NEC over a potential takeover of its ailing mobile business.

In recent weeks the company has also spoken of its potential interest in taking over BlackBerry, but appears to be considering all options to boost its global presence beyond PCs.