Qualcomm unveiled their flagship the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset built on a 4nm process a couple of days ago at their annual summit. Nothing was mentioned about who would be manufacturing the new SoC during the event, but the company has now confirmed that it would be sticking with Samsung.
Media reports indicate that the chipmaker would be continuing its association with the Samsung foundry for its top-end chipset. In the past, Qualcomm had got some of its chipsets, such as the Snapdragon 888 (2020), the Snapdragon 865 (2019) and the Snapdragon 855 (2018), made by Taiwan's TSMC.
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The information was shared by Qualcomm's CEO Cristiano Amon, who confirmed the deal during a Q&A session at the summit, says a report in SamMobile. Earlier, Alex Katouzian, senior VP of Qualcomm's mobile, computing and infrastructure business, had confirmed that Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 didn't go to the TSMC foundry.
The new Snapdragon chipset is expected to power upcoming Samsung smartphones from the Galaxy S22 series that is scheduled to launch across the US, Asia and Africa sometime in the New Year.
Mission critical for Qualcomm
The new flagship chipset is critical for Qualcomm as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 finds itself positioned in the value chain alongside the A15 Bionic from Apple, as well as the recently released MediaTek Dimensity 9000 processor. There is also Samsung's own Exynos 2200 due for release in the weeks ahead. All these use the 4nm process that makes them powerful and power-efficient.
We have already started hearing reports on TSMC preparing its 3nm node in time to manufacture the Apple M3 chip in 2022. Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, claimed that the company was already on production testing of its new process known as the N3 line. However, shipments are expected only in early 2023.
In fact, we've been hearing rumours of how the iPhone 14, which should arrive in nine to ten months time not be just about as powerful as the iPhone 13, as Apple remains stuck with the 5nm chipsets for now. The 'nm' refers to a manufacturing process that enhances power while reducing energy consumption.
The year of the 4nm process
It is beyond doubt that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset would be powering a lot of the top-end phones in 2022 and beyond, some of which we have captured here, though readers should appreciate that a few of the devices we have included in this list is based on rumours and leaks.
As for the chipset itself, It is the successor to the Snapdragon 888 (and its sibling the Snapdragon 888 Plus) that was introduced in 2020 and featured on smartphones like the Galaxy S21, OnePlus 9 Pro, Oppo Find X3 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 11.
This automatically implies that we are more than likely to see the new chipset under the hood of the next iterations of the above devices. Thus, flagships from top brands like Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Motorola, Realme and more would be including this chipset in their best devices planned for 2022.
Given that Apple could end up losing a year due to the delay in upgrading chipsets, it becomes imperative that Samsung and other Chinese rivals manufacturing flagship devices get the best out of their SoC - in this case, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
The smartphone makers have already fallen over each other to announce their plans of being the first off the blocks with the new chipset. Manufacturers have confirmed compatibility and we expect Android phone makers to make more announcements in the coming weeks. However, we do have a list that could keep you interested now.
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A media veteran who turned a gadget lover fairly recently. An early adopter of Apple products, Raj has an insatiable curiosity for facts and figures which he puts to use in research. He engages in active sport and retreats to his farm during his spare time.