Qualcomm has asked TSMC and Samsung to provide 2nm chip samples

Previously, there were reports that Qualcomm was contemplating adopting a dual foundry strategy for its future Snapdragon 8 platform, utilizing both TSMC and Samsung’s 3nm processes. Qualcomm initially planned to implement this strategy starting with the fourth generation of Snapdragon 8 in 2024. However, due to a conservative expansion plan for Samsung’s 3nm capacity and unstable yields, Qualcomm ultimately decided to postpone this plan.

According to Wccftech, while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will be manufactured using TSMC’s second-generation 3nm process, Qualcomm still intends to shift towards a dual foundry strategy for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 in 2025. It has requested 2nm chip samples from both TSMC and Samsung for further evaluation.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 Samsung

Although mass production of the 2nm process is still some time away, Qualcomm aims to secure a competitive advantage by ensuring both TSMC and Samsung can become manufacturing partners. The challenge may be less significant for TSMC, but for Samsung, overcoming obstacles to enhance performance and yield rates remains a top priority. Currently, SoC prototypes are in the development phase, with ongoing determinations of which technologies can be scaled for mass production.

Qualcomm is likely to continue with the initial concept for the fourth generation Snapdragon 8, using TSMC’s process for the standard version and Samsung’s process for the version supplied to the Galaxy series smartphones. Qualcomm’s strategy of leveraging dual foundries aims to reduce the production costs of SoCs. In recent years, the cost of flagship SoCs has been rising, forcing Qualcomm’s smartphone partners to either increase product pricing or sacrifice profit margins, giving competitors like MediaTek an opportunity. Last year, MediaTek’s Dimensity 9300 achieved substantial profits with its reasonable performance and positioning, and this year’s Dimensity 9400 seems poised to maintain this momentum, putting significant pressure on Qualcomm.

This year, Qualcomm will introduce the fourth generation Snapdragon 8, rumored to incorporate custom Oryon cores that integrate NUVIA technology, moving away from the traditional Arm-based design. Coupled with the first-time use of the 3nm process, it’s rumored to be priced at up to $200.