In the world of business, even rivals can end up in mutually beneficial partnerships. News out of South Korea suggests that Qualcomm and Samsung could be the next to form such an arrangement, with industry sources stating that Samsung will be producing Qualcomm mobile processors in the future, which could help offset the recent sluggish performance of its smartphone business.
Despite Qualcomm’s impressive share of the mobile processor market, it doesn’t own its own foundries. Instead, the company has previously relied on large scale manufacturers, like TSMC, to put its designs into silicon form. Sources suggest that Qualcomm is interested in Samsung’s modern 14 nanometer FinFet process technology, which makes use of a three dimensional manufacturing process for more power efficient processors.
Qualcomm’s bleeding edge Snapdragon 805 processor is based on a 28nm process, and the upcoming Snapdragon 808 and 810 are to be based on 20nm, suggesting that this partnership is planned for processors scheduled for H2 2015 or later.
Samsung has plenty of experience in the mobile processor manufacturing industry, and is one of the biggest players in the global semiconductor market. The company already manufacturers processors for various companies, as well as under its own name, and is the largest manufacturer of DRAM memory with 37.2 percent of the market, and of NAND flash memory with a 37.4 percent market share.
At this point in time, there aren’t any details on which processors Qualcomm plans to have Samsung manufacture, or when production is scheduled to begin.