While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is on our doorstep and should equip a good part of the high-end smartphones of 2023, Qualcomm is already preparing the sequel. The American founder has already made a distribution between its various suppliers for the manufacture of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 which will succeed it at the end of the year.
This new chip engraved in 3 nanometers will represent the spearhead of the range and the know-how of the firm. The finer the engraving, the more it is possible to increase the number of transistors and semiconductors on the wafers, the silicon wafers serving as a support for the manufacture of the chips. This new process should therefore allow a gain in power, but above all be less energy-consuming than the previous generation. Ideal for improving the autonomy of premium devices, which often sin on this point.
A historic duel
Its two historical partners, Samsung and TSMC, are still competing for the largest share of production. But, in recent years, the South Korean giant seems to be losing ground against the Taiwanese. And it will not work out since TSMC should take care of the majority of the manufacture of the chip in question.
A choice very probably motivated by its new 3 nm manufacturing process, the success rate of which would reach 80%. The website BNext specifies that this rate varies on average between 60 and 70%. TSMC therefore manages to make better use of its raw materials, by limiting rejections during the transition to mass production.
If the promise is kept, the firm will have no problem supplying Qualcomm, AMD, but also Apple. The Cupertino company relies on the Taiwanese for the manufacture of its A17 Bionic chip, intended for the iPhone 15. Suffice to say that it will benefit from a position of choice on the market. However, this is not necessarily such good news from the point of view of consumers, since this induces the risk of seeing prices increase more easily.
A growing monopoly
This is a real setback for Samsung. The South Korean had however managed to outdo his competitor by presenting before him a 3 nm engraving process. But the transition to mass production revealed a concern for efficiency. At the start of the manufacturing process, Samsung had a success rate of around 20%. A result that must have played in Qualcomm’s decision. Even if the situation has improved a little, the gap with TSMC remains visibly too great.