Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon 820 processor will be manufactured at Samsung’s chip-making foundries, according to a new report. The chip is expected to use the same 14-nanometer manufacturing process as Samsung’s new Exynos 7 chipset, which features in the new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., more commonly known as TSMC, has been responsible for producing most of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors in the past, as well as other foundries. But Samsung is now capable of producing more advanced chips.
“Samsung has had an edge over TSMC and other chip plants because it is cranking out chips using thinner 14-nanometer wiring, compared with 20-nanometer transistors at TSMC,” writes Recode’s Ina Fried, who was first to report the news, citing sources familiar with the plans.
Thanks to that 14-nanometer manufacturing process, chips can become smaller, faster, and more power efficient, which leads to increased performance and better battery life for future smartphones and tablets.
It’s an interesting turn of events given that Samsung reportedly snubbed Qualcomm’s most recent Snapdragon 810 chip in favor of its own due to apparent overheating problems. The move had a big effect on Qualcomm, which was forced to cut its financial outlook for 2015.
However, the new Snapdragon 820 will likely power many of 2016’s high-end mobile devices, and Qualcomm is hoping it will win back Samsung’s business for next year’s Galaxy S series, Recode reports.
In addition to a custom-design Qualcomm processor and graphics core, the Snapdragon 820 is expected to have its own LTE modem built-in. The chip is scheduled to reach the sampling stage later this year.