Samsung foundry has reportedly bagged contract to manufacture Qualcomm’s next flagship chipset, Snapdragon 865. Earlier, Samsung also manufactured Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 835 for Qualcomm, but TSMC bagged contracts for Snapdragon 845 and Snapdragon 855.
The 7nm EUV process is said to yield significantly better PPA (power, performance, and area) which is a crucial metric for Smartphone chips makers. Samsung started mass production on its 7nm EUV process late last year and also manufactures Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 5G Modems on the same node.
Why is 7nm EUV process better?
Samsung says that at same complexities, its 7nm LPP EUV ( Extreme ultraviolet lithography) process ensures 40% area reduction and 50% lower power consumption or a 20% higher performance than 10nm LPE. Or in other words, Samsung can pack in more transistors and reduce power consumption.
Using EUV also ensures 20% reduction total number of masks and in clearer circuits on the wafer (better fidelity).
Samsung has additionally developed a proprietary EUV mask inspection tool that helps detect defects in early manufacturing stages, consequently improving the end yield.
Qualcomm reportedly agrees that Samsung’s 7nm mode is more advanced than TSMC’s 7nm process.
TSMC Still has Apple A13 and Kirin 985
EUV isn’t exclusive to Samsung foundries. In fact, TSMC was the first to use Extreme Ultraviolet lithography and is already manufacturing Apple A13 using its second generation 7nm EUV process. It’s also manufacturing Samsung’s Android
The EUV tech has been in development since 1985 and will simplify the design process of complex chips moving forward. Samsung recently also announced that it has completed 5nm EUV development and the technology is ready for customer samples. That’s probably the process node we’d see on Snapdragon 875.