According to ETNews
), San Diego-based Qualcomm has asked Samsung Foundry to produce a prototype 2nm chipset for the next-generation Snapdragon 8 application processor (AP). The bottom line is that the request shows that Qualcomm is interested in having Samsung Foundry build an upcoming flagship SoC for the fabless chip designer. If the prototype impresses Qualcomm and the foundry’s yields are satisfactory, Samsung Foundry could receive an order to manufacture the chip.
You might recall that Samsung Foundry was producing the 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 AP when Qualcomm got upset over the low 35% yield that Samsung reportedly was achieving. Simply put, this meant that out of every 100 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips produced by the foundry, only 35 passed quality control (QC) and could be shipped. And the way things work in the industry, Qualcomm had to pay for the chips that failed to pass QC.
Qualcomm ended up making a minor redesign to the chip, slapped a new name on it (Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1), and let TSMC manufacture it using its 4nm node. TSMC has been producing the Snapdragon 8 series since then. Qualcomm is expected to introduce the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 later this year; TSMC will be manufacturing that chip as well using its 3nm node. For the Snapdragon 8 Gen 5, there has been talk about Qualcomm dual-sourcing the component from both TSMC and Samsung.
Qualcomm ordered a prototype 2nm chipset for the Snapdragon 8 Gen series
The 2nm prototype ordered from Samsung Foundry by Qualcomm is called a Multi-Wafer Project (MWP) and the idea is to create multiple chip prototypes on a single wafer. It is at this stage that the prototype is put through the paces to see if the customer (in this case, Qualcomm) wants to move forward. Qualcomm has reportedly asked TSMC to create a 2nm prototype as well. Qualcomm will have to decide between having TSMC or Samsung Foundry produce the Snapdragon 8 Gen 5, or going ahead with the dual-sourcing.
Samsung Foundry is supposed to be able to start mass production of 2nm chips in the second half of 2025. The Exynos 2400 AP, used to power the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24+ in the vast majority of countries, is produced using Samsung Foundry’s third-gen 4nm process (4LPP+). The lower the process node number, the higher a chip’s transistor count. And the higher a chip’s transistor count, the more powerful and/or energy efficient that chip is.
Source: Phone Arena