15 July 2019
Samsung uses Qualcomm’s chipsets for its smartphones and it also develops its own processors in Exynos series. Well, Samsung’s foundries also produce chipsets for the other makers as well and according to a new report it has already bagged orders for Qualcomm’s upcoming flagship chipset which is going to be the Snapdragon 865.
The new Snapdragon 865 will be made on Samsung’s EUV-based 7nm process with mass production slated to begin by February next year. The initial production will begin at the South Korean’s company Hwaseong 17 line before adding exclusive EUV lines in September for mass production.
The report cites industry sources and nothing is official yet. Not much is known about the new chipset but the reports state there will be two versions of the Snapdragon 865 – standard and one with an X55 5G modem.
While announcing the production of the new 7nm LPP process with the help of extreme ultraviolet lithography, Samsung projected significant benefits of using this new process. Samsung estimates 40% improvement in the area efficiency, 20% higher performance or 50% lower power consumption. This 7nm EUV process is suitable for a range of applications like 5G, AI, IoT devices, automotive chips, and more.
Note that this isn’t the first time Samsung would be developing chips for Qualcomm. The company had developed chips for the San Diego company in the past as well. TSMC then became Qualcomm’s foundry of choice to fab the 7nm chipsets – Snapdragon 845 and Snapdragon 855 – taking over from Samsung, which built the Snapdragon 820 and the Snapdragon 835.
Well, Samsung is also said to be fabbing GPU chips for NVIDIA, which has used TSMC for years. So, it appears that Samsung 7nm EUV foundry has scored several major contracts. IBM has also selected Samsung’s 7nm EUV foundries for the next generation Power processors.
If the new report is correct, Samsung must be expanding its EUV foundries to handle the increasing demand.