Nearly one week ago we told you that Qualcomm had confirmed that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the new name for its flagship chipset, will be manufactured by Samsung using its 4nm process node. In the past, Qualcomm has employed both Samsung and TSMC to produce its Snapdragon APs. For example, 2017’s Snapdragon 835 SoC was made by Samsung using its 10nm FinFET process node and contained 3 billion transistors.
Qualcomm might shift some Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 production to TSMC from Samsung
2020’s Snapdragon 865 and 865+ were manufactured using TSMC’s second-generation 7nm process and were equipped with 10.3 billion transistors. This year, for the first 5nm Snapdragon chips, Qualcomm returned to Samsung for the Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 888+. Each chip contains 10 billion transistors. For next year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Samsung is expected to use its 4nm process node to make the chips.
TSMC is the world’s largest independent foundry and makes chips for fabless chip designers like Apple, MediaTek, AMD, NVIDIA, and others. It also might be producing some 3nm chips for Intel which does have its own foundry but is unable to deliver 3nm chips at this stage.
Apple once used TSMC and Samsung to produce the A9 chip for the iPhone 6s series
Back then, Chipworks said, “For Apple to go through all the trouble of dual-sourcing a custom designed part and launching on day one with both parts, suggests major sourcing problems. For cost and power reasons, there is little reason to run a larger die, unless the smaller die was not available at the right volumes.”
Now it looks as though Qualcomm has something of a similar situation although, unlike Apple’s #chipgate, both foundries will be using a similar process node. The 4nm process will also be used by Samsung on its homegrown Exynos 2200. So if Sammy’s foundry unit is having yield problems with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, there is a good chance that the Exynos 2200 is having the same problem.