As reported by sources familiar to Samsung’s foundry operations and Qualcomm, seems like Qualcomm Inc has got plans to manufacture its next-generation Snapdragon 820 processors at Samsung’s chip-making plants.
This is happening because recently Samsung used its own Exynos processors in its latest flagship Galaxy S6 devices rather than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. This in turn should have prompted Qualcomm to slash its financial outlook for the year though 810 won a spec in other flagship products like the latest LG Flex 2 and HTC One.
Samsung’s14-nanometer manufacturing technology is the boom:
Basically, if noticed Qualcomm has its leading-edge chips manufactured largely at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the contract chip maker and other foundries as well. But, Samsung on the other hand has had an edge over TSMC and other chip foundries due to its chips that use 14-nanometer manufacturing technology, thinner wiring unlike the 20-nanometer transistors used at TSMC. Everything else is the same but for thinner wires mean small and less costly processor chips having better performing battery.
This might gain momentum for Samsung’s business of chips system even letting the company get more outside orders which according to analysts is also to peak the profit and earnings of Samsung this year. On the other hand it might turn out to be negative for TSMC which currently holds bulk orders from Qualcomm’s high-end chips.
Both Qualcomm and Samsung were not available for comments with regards to Re/code’s report. However, there is nothing revealed by the report if Qualcomm is also looking out for other manufacturers for its 820 processor apart from Samsung.
On coming to Samsung’s chip-making arm the deals the company got with Apple and Qualcomm are also to mean it more profit and revenue. But on close note, it can be understood that by doing this Samsung is to take away an advantage from its own handsets, meaning currently it is only Samsung phones are using its 14-nanometer process used Exynos processors. However, Samsung to have its own processor used in its Galaxy S6 devices had to use a separate modem chip that added on with back cost.
The Snapdragon 820, on the other hand has its own built-in LTE modem along with custom-designed Qualcomm graphics core and processor. This means, it could help Samsung ultimately compete against Apple even though it has to withdraw its own Exynos use.
The next generation of Qualcomm’s top-end chip family is Snapdragon 820 which is to be designed specifically for 2016 flagship models from all leading phone makers. Also this move of using Samsung’s factories is hoped by Qualcomm to earn its business back from Samsung for its next Galaxy S flagship. Although, Qualcomm’s this decision is bad news for TSMC, it is expected that both Samsung and Apple may reach out to TSMC, making it a secondary source for ensuring capacity.
Qualcomm informed in January that its Snapdragon 820 is to reach the sampling stage this year end with using more advanced manufacturing process. It is also believed that Qualcomm has got plans to go back to its own processing core and not to use any outside design that was done with the 810, and by doing this it is expected to put some effort in getting a rapid 64-bit core into the market.
And for Samsung, reports suggest that it is expected to get processors made for Apple Inc’s new iPhones that are to be launched later this year. Also Samsung has added Nvidia Corp recently as a contract manufacturing client.
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