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Next-gen Snapdragon confirmed at 7nm, 5G support in tow

Qualcomm has confirmed that its next-gen Snapdragon mobile SoC will be built on 7nm technology and will support 5G when paired its Qualcomm X50 modem.

Published onAugust 22, 2018

Pictured - Snapdragon 845. Qualcomm's next chip will be a smaller 7nm product.
  • The next-gen Snapdragon will release this year and it’s a 7nm chip.
  • The SoC will pair with Qualcomm’s X50 modem for 5G support.
  • More details will head our way Q4 2018.

In a press release today, Qualcomm confirmed its next-generation flagship Snapdragon SoC for mobile devices, most likely named the Snapdragon 855, will be built on a 7nm process node. Although we don’t yet know for sure if TSMC or Samsung Foundries will end up producing the chips. Rumors currently point to TSMC.

The news comes hot on the heels of HUAWEI spilling the beans on its upcoming HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor, which it is building on a cutting-edge 7nm process. Getting to 7nm is another important step down to even low power consumption processors, a necessary counterbalance as SoCs push performance limits.

The announcement also details Qualcomm’s plans to support the upcoming 5G market with its next-generation chipset. According to the release, the “7nm SoC can be paired with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem” to support the next gen wireless communication technology.

The company’s X50 modem won’t come inside the next gen Snapdragon SoC, but can be included as an optional extra for specific 5G devices. We already assumed this, as the X50 is not a multi-mode modem anyway — it can already pair up with existing Snapdragon chips anyway. The new SoC will likely include Qualcomm’s X24 LTE modem inside, an upgrade over the current X20 LTE implementation inside the Snapdragon 845.

5G: When will your smartphone get it?

This was always the most likely option. 5G networks won’t be up and running in most of the world in 2019, which spares phone manufacturers the expense of including a modem package they can’t use. Furthermore, a number of manufacturers have already stated they may release dedicated 5G phones next year, implying the regular release schedule won’t support 5G technology just yet.

The company is clearly pushing for 5G adoption, but it’s going to be a bonus, rather than core technology, in its next SoC. Qualcomm says more details about its next-generation flagship mobile platform will come in Q4 2018, when the company typically launches its flagship chip for next year’s high-end smartphones.

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