Snapdragon 8 Gen 3: Qualcomm may swap TSMC for Samsung to produce 3-nanometer chip

Qualcomm can resume its business with Samsung to manufacture the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, future generation of its most advanced processor for mobile phones, with the 3-nanometer GAA process. According to rumors released on Tuesday (22), the North American fears the alleged delays in the production of technology by TSMC.

After replacing the South Korean company with the Taiwanese one for the production of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with 4-nanometer lithography — possibly in view of the theorized technical problems that caused the hardware to overheat — Qualcomm may return to work with Samsung to avoid stockouts of Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in 2023.

“Qualcomm is expected to manufacture the next generation Snapdragon 8 with Samsung,” reads the publication of the @OreXda on Twitter, reiterating that “there seems to be a constant delay in TSMC’s production of 3-nanometer chips.”

Due to criticism of processors manufactured by Samsung, Qualcomm and MediaTek ended up migrating to TSMC’s semiconductor foundry. The bet seemed right in view of the great leap in performance and efficiency when comparing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (produced by Samsung) and Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 (produced by TSMC).

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On the other hand, in addition to TSMC’s production delays, its foundry has become much more expensive. Industry sources claim that the prices of wafers with 3-nanometer transistors from Taiwan surpassed US$ 20,000 (about BRL 106,000), so it is possible that Qualcomm merges its supply chain by including Samsung.

The South Korean giant and second-leading semiconductor supplier will replace FinFET technology with Gate-All-Around (GAA) to produce wafers of 3 nanometers. Samsung claims that this new architecture will reduce hardware power consumption by up to 45%, which could recoup damage to its reputation over the last few years.

Meanwhile, Apple appears to continue betting on TSMC’s more expensive lawsuit. The American big tech should launch the next generation of cell phones flagships with A17 Bionic, a chipset manufactured using the Taiwanese 3-nanometer “N3P” process that could make models even more expensive in 2023.

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(updated Nov 22, 2022 at 11:46 am)

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