The upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 by Qualcomm is going to be the company’s first 3nm chip. According to some recent pieces of information, Qualcomm has split the production of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 between Samsung and TSMC. This information was provided by Ming-Chi Kuo, the international analyst. He mentioned in his post on Medium that Qualcomm has divided the production of the 2024 flagship processor between the two foundry giants.
For the past several years, Samsung has been manufacturing flagship chips for Qualcomm. Last year, the company switched to TSMC given the low yield rates of the former. In 2022, TSMC manufactured the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. Furthermore, TSMC will also manufacture the current year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Although TSMC has been successful with its 3nm process nodes, Qualcomm prefers the 4nm process to keep costs low.
On the other hand, the South Korean tech giant has improved its yield rates during this time period. Reportedly, Samsung is now on the same level with yield rates as TSMC, if not better. Qualcomm is going to grant an order to Samsung next year. As per the rumors, Samsung will manufacture the ‘for Galaxy’ version for its smartphones, whereas TSMC will manufacture the standard version.
It’s important to keep in mind that working on the same chip for two distinct foundries necessitates additional resources. Given the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, TSMC is going to use FinFET transistor architecture, while Samsung will utilize its advanced GAA architecture. Therefore, Qualcomm, which just let go of nearly 400 people, will need to manage its resources effectively.
For this reason, Qualcomm has stopped the development of Intel’s 20A node. It is said to be equivalent to 3nm nodes by TSMC. Such a strategy might help Qualcomm. Meanwhile, Intel’s plans for 18A R&D and mass production are in peril as a result of Qualcomm’s decision. The expert claimed that these initiatives now carry “a higher level of ambiguity and risk.”
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