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Future Snapdragon will be 5G-capable and on Samsung’s 7nm node

A press release from Samsung confirms some information about the future 5G-enabled Snapdragon, but also leaves a lot of open questions.

Published onFebruary 22, 2018

  • Samsung issued a press release today confirming a future Snapdragon chipset will be 5G-capable and on a 7nm node.
  • The release gives no timeline, and the model numbers of the Snapdragon chipset and the attached modem are left out.
  • Essentially, not much new information comes from this press release; but a 7nm chipset is coming, and that’s pretty exciting.

A week ago we posted an article about a leak of information regarding the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC. According to the leak, the Snapdragon 855 will be the first commercially available 7nm chip. Now Samsung appears to be offering at least a partial confirmation of that.

In a press release from Samsung, the company stated Qualcomm will release a Snapdragon chip on Samsung’s 7nm node. The two companies have a long history together. The latest Snapdragon processor usually debuts in the latest North American variant of a Samsung Galaxy S line smartphone (the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 will feature the Snapdragon 845 first). This proves the original leak correct regarding Qualcomm releasing a 7nm chip.

A day with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

However, no mention is made in the press release of when that could happen, nor is any mention made of what the model of Snapdragon will be called. The Snapdragon 855, which will probably arrive at some point in 2019, would be the logical conclusion. We can’t be certain, because the press release gives no confirmation.

The press release only says a future Snapdragon processor will take advantage of Samsung’s 7nm node design, as well as Samsung’s extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. That chip will apparently be 40 percent faster and require up to 35 percent less battery power to operate.

The 7nm chip will also have a significantly smaller footprint, enabling OEMs to either make smartphones thinner (please don’t) or pack in more battery (please do).

Finally, the press release confirms the 7nm chipset will also be capable of 5G speeds. Does that mean the next Snapdragon will feature the x50 modem? It’s likely, but the press release doesn’t confirm that.

Essentially, Samsung is saying, “At some point in the future, there will be a 5G-enabled Snapdragon SoC which Qualcomm will build on our 7nm node.” Which we all kind of already knew, Samsung.

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