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qualcomm tsmc umc

According to the Chinese Commercial Times (quoted by Digitimes), Qualcomm has struck a deal with Taiwan’s United Microelectronics for manufacturing 28nm Snapdragon S4 systems on a chip (SOC). If the paper is to be believed, UMC will start volume production during Q4 2012, and is expected to manufacture 3000-5000 wafers for Qualcomm during the quarter. This news comes of no surprise, as it’s well known that the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is currently struggling to keep up with Qualcomm’s demand, a situation that has forced both Qualcomm (as well as Android device manufacturers) to swap the S4 chip found…

qualcomm-snapdragon-s4

Qualcomm is the biggest chip supplier right now in the Android smartphone market, in part because its Snapdragon CPU became very popular thanks to the Nexus One and HTC’s phones back in 2010, and thanks to the fact that they are the biggest supplier for low-end smartphones as well. Add to that the fact that S4 supply can’t even satisfy demand this year, and you’ll realize that Qualcomm is in a pretty nice spot in the chip-making business right now. Even though the S4 shortage is a nice problem to have because of the overwhelming demand, Qualcomm may consider making…

qualcomm-snapdragon-02

The Snapdragon S4 processor was made at 28nm, and since 28nm is a brand new process for Global Foundries (Qualcomm’s main foundry) and also for TSMC, which means that some unexpected issues may appear, or their planned production is much smaller than anticipated. This has already led to phones that were supposed to have the S4 processor, like the One S, to only get an S3 processor (although clocked at 1.7 Ghz) in certain Asian markets. Qualcomm may have put the S4 processor on a high-priority list for certain phones models, like the One X and the US version of…

ARM TSMC Cortex A9

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, has recently announced that it now has the ability to manufacture dual-core Cortex-A9 processors clocked at no less than 3.1GHz. This is possible thanks to a new 28 nm technology called HPM (for High Performance Mobile Computing), a combination of the 28HP technology that TSMC uses to manufacture graphic chips for NVIDIA and the 28HPL tech that TSMC uses to manufacture Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 systems on a chip. ARM processors are not currently known for running at clock frequencies this high, as their power-efficient architectures usually tend to the…