Samsung to make Snapdragon 875 chips for Qualcomm

Samsung Foundry in Hwaseong, Korea. (Image credit: Samsung)

The putative Snapdragon 875 deal seems to have gone Samsung's way. Qualcomm, which is set to introduce its next flagship chipset in December, has reportedly offered the deal to Samsung.

Samsung is a major player in the manufacture of semiconductors. And this prestigious deal, which the Korean giant has acquired by pipping the Taiwanese leader TSMC, will help it improve its position in the competitive market. The deal is speculated to be worth anywhere between $850 million and $1 billion.

This is the first time that Samsung has won the full order for a Qualcomm flagship product. Qualcomm represents a flagship customer for Samsung’s 5-nanometer manufacturing technology.

But what is Snapdragon 875?

The name Snapdragon 875 is not official yet. It is Qualcomm's 5G AP chip meant for premium smartphones. 

The chip, set to be unveiled in December, may power Samsung's Galaxy S21. High-end smartphones from Xiaomi and Oppo are also expected to be powered by the new Qualcomm AP.

Media reports from Korea have it that Samsung has started the manufacture of the Snapdragon 875, using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment at its foundry line in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.

Samsung will use its 5nm EUV process to make Qualcomm’s next-generation mobile processors. 

Following the initial mass production of the EUV-based 7nm process in early 2019, Samsung recently added a new EUV-dedicated V1 line in Hwaseong, Korea, to its global foundry network. With the new Pyeongtaek facility starting full operation in 2021, Samsung’s foundry capacity based on EUV is expected to increase significantly.

Samsung 'chips' its way into the US market

Samsung as a chip-maker is making much inroads in the US market. 

This is the third US chip order for Samsung this year. Last month, it secured a deal for manufacturing IBM’s POWER10 chips for next-generation servers. Earlier this month, it received an order to make Nvidia’s new RTX 300 series graphics processing units.

Samsung is also set to manufacture Qualcomm's mobile application processor for low-end 5G smartphones. It is also rumored that Samsung will make the Snapdragon 875G and Snapdragon 735G.

Earlier this year, Samsung had secured another order from Qualcomm to manufacture a portion of its 5G modem chip X60.

As the US chip giants are compelled to cut their ties with Chinese companies, it is proving to be beneficial to Samsung.

Samsung is expected to have 17.4% of the global market share during the third quarter, while TSMC is expected to take over 53.9%.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.