Qualcomm Is Making A Big Switch Against Samsung, Partners With TSMC On 7nm Mobile Chips

By Monica U Santos , Jun 14, 2017 04:38 AM EDT

A very fresh report claims that Qualcomm will drop Samsung and is set to work with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or most commonly known as TSMC. The goal of the partnership is to build and produce a 7nm mobile system-on-chip or SoC, in tech terms.

Qualcomm, over the past few years, has worked with Samsung in order to make its chips possible using the South Korean’s technology. For the record, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, Snapdragon 821 and this year’s new Snapdragon 835-series chip are all built with Samsung, according to Android Headline.

However, it appears that the American multinational semiconductor and telecommunications company is no longer interested in continuing its good partnership with Samsung. And maybe, the tech giant is also set to partner up with TSMC since the company previously helped it create the Snapdragon 810 SoC.

Until now, it is still unknown why Qualcomm set this big switch, but the increasing popularity and demand of Samsung’s own Exynos chipsets may have played a much bigger role in the decision. After all, the Korean smartphone maker is gradually replacing third-party chips with its very own chips.

On the other hand, rumors surrounding a new in-house graphics processing unit (GPU) surely haven’t helped the circumstances. If Samsung were to have its own GPU, it would put the giant company in even more direct competition with Qualcomm being one of the many manufacturers that produce their own chips.

The progress on TSMC’s 7nm process has played the larger part in Qualcomm’s decision. In fact, TSMC has made no secret that the firm is focused on a 7nm mobile chip instead of the 10nm. Along with this fact is a news that the firm is set to be producing 7nm chips by the end of next year. If this happens, it will provide a significant advantage over its rivals like Samsung, which are said to be a number of months behind with this technology.

According to PhoneArena, ever since the second half of 2016, Qualcomm has been creating 7nm Snapdragon mobile chips using tools provided by TSMC. However, a report out of Korea suggests that once Qualcomm is already set for the production of the chips using the 7nm process, Samsung will be surely dropped in favor of TSMC.


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