The world’s largest mobile application processor (AP) design company has reached out to Samsung Foundry to produce a prototype 2nm chipset that it wants to use in top-of-the-line flagship chipsets in 2025. We are talking about Qualcomm which wants to develop a Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 SoC on a 2nm node. The juggernaut has reached out to both Samsung Foundry and TSMC to develop a prototype so that it can analyze the results and award one of the biggest orders in the semiconductor industry.
Samsung & Qualcomm Joined Forces For Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 AP But…
Qualcomm roped in Samsung Foundry for its 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 AP, however, poor performance and a yield of 35% made Qualcomm furious. Qualcomm made the design changes to Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 AP and handed over the baton to TSMC who has since been manufacturing Gen 2 and Gen 3 APs for the chip designer. For the unversed, a 35% yield means out of every 100 chips fabbed, only 35% passed strict quality control which is half of what the industry standards are at the moment.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 SoC Will Be Based on 2nm Node
Coming back to the next-gen 2nm chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 SoC will be based on this next-gen process. It ensures more transistors, more performance, and better power efficiency compared to 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and 2024 3nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 SoCs.
Samsung is believed to be working on a Multi-Wafer Project (MWP) which is essentially creating multiple prototypes of chips on a single wafer. This will allow Qualcomm to analyze the various chips and compare them with TSMC’s MWPs. At this stage, the chip designer will consider everything from performance to yield and other metrics before awarding the orders to the befitting chip manufacturer.
According to ETNews, both Samsung Foundry and TSMC are in the race to win orders for 2nm chips set to arrive in 2025. Ideally, the prototyping takes about six months and the finalization of orders would come in until this year ends. Qualcomm could either go for Samsung or TSMC or would resort to a dual-sourcing strategy with orders split across both the chipmakers based on the proportion agreed upon.
Both TSMC and Samsung Foundry are expected to get their 2nm chips out in 2025 and in time for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 SoC. Once they achieve this, both companies will move forward with 1.4nm chips. It is expected to enter mass production in the second half of 2027. This will give us a spike in performance compared to the predecessor technologies.