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Qualcomm could split Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 production between Samsung and TSMC

Qualcomm is considering a dual-sourcing strategy for Snapdragon 8 Gen 5.

Published onJune 6, 2024

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 reference device edit
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
  • Qualcomm is considering manufacturing its next-generation Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 chip with both TSMC and Samsung.
  • CEO Cristiano Amon hinted at this potential dual-sourcing strategy during a media briefing in Taiwan.

Qualcomm might be shaking things up with its next-generation Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 chip, teaming up with both Samsung and TSMC to manufacture it. This tidbit came from Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon during a media briefing in Taiwan on June 4, as reported by Business Korea.

During the briefing, Amon responded to a question about the risks of relying on a single manufacturer by suggesting of a partnership with both Samsung and TSMC for future chip fabrication. He did not elaborate on the specific reasons behind this shift, but it’s likely driven by a combination of factors, including cost considerations, the desire to diversify manufacturing partners, and confidence in Samsung’s recent advancements in chip manufacturing.

Qualcomm had previously collaborated with Samsung on the Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips, but those collaborations resulted in some of the most thermally inefficient and battery-hogging Android flagships in recent memory. Qualcomm switched back to TSMC for the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and subsequent generations, leading to a much-needed improvement in battery life and thermal performance for Android flagships.

The upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will be exclusively manufactured by TSMC.

That being said, Samsung has made notable strides in improving the power efficiency of its recent Exynos chips, which the company manufactures in-house. The performance gap between Exynos and Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S24 devices is reportedly much narrower than in previous years.

However, the story doesn’t end there. Google’s Tensor chipsets, also manufactured by Samsung Foundry, have been plagued by similar thermal and battery life issues as the earlier Snapdragon chips. In response, Google is reportedly shifting to TSMC for its next-generation Tensor G5 chip.

There is undoubtedly potential for both risks and rewards of this dual-sourcing strategy, and a lot of it will come down to execution. Will Qualcomm follow Samsung’s model of offering different chipsets based on regions or more of an Intel-like approach, selling different tiers of its flagship chipset? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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