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Leak points to Snapdragon 855 as first 7nm chipset

Roland Quant tweeted out information that points to the upcoming Snapdragon 855 as the first commercially-available 7nm chipset.

Published onFebruary 15, 2018

  • Roland Quandt tweeted information which suggests the upcoming Snapdragon 855 will be the first commercially-available 7nm chipset.
  • Current and imminent flagship devices have 10nm chipsets.
  • A 7nm chipset would be faster and use less power than 10nm chips, which is big news for the mobile industry.

In an article Android Authority posted in April last year, we asked a simple question: “Who will be the first manufacturer to 7nm?” Well, a contractor for Qualcomm may have answered our question, as Roland Quandt from detailed in a recent tweet. According to Quandt, the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, the Snapdragon 855 (SDM855), will be the very first commercially-released 7-nanometer processor.

Qualcomm won’t say it, but their contractors do. Snapdragon 855 (SDM855) is the first 7nm SoC. (probably the one the X24 modem ends up in)
— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) February 15, 2018

7nm refers to the half-pitch measurement of nodes in a chip. In other words, if you were to measure the amount of space between a node and its closest node neighbor, and that measurement was 14 nanometers, you would have yourself a half-pitch of 7nm.

Beyond 7nm - the race to 4nm is Samsung's to lose

Processors in current flagship mobile devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and imminent flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S9 have 10nm chips. Because nodes will be ever-so-slightly closer together on a 7nm chip, the processor will be denser and thus able to be faster while using less power.

If what Quandt says is true, we could see 7nm chipsets in flagship mobile devices as early as 2019. But, as with any leak, information needs to be taken with a grain of salt. For example, Roland Quant has uncovered plenty of reliable information in the past, but his source is a blurry screenshot from… somewhere. It’s not at all clear where he pulled the text from that claims the Snapdragon 855 will be the first 7nm chip, nor who wrote the text. Also, the image he posted doesn’t say anything about timelines or system capabilities; it merely says the SDM855 will be a 7nm chip.

Still, 7nm technology will be a big boost for the smartphone industry, giving us faster processing with much less power consumption, which is certainly very exciting.

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