Qualcomm expected to move to 8nm chips ‘pretty soon’ [Exclusive]

qualcomm,snapdragon,snapdragon 845

The past year has seen Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple and Mediatek all move to a tiny 10nm manufacturing process for their high-end mobile chipsets.

A smaller manufacturing process generally results in a tinier chip and energy savings, resulting in better performance and battery life.

Now, in an interview with Gearburn on the sidelines of Africacom 2017, a Qualcomm representative has confirmed that the company is expected to move “one level” down from 10nm.

“So, at the moment we are on a 10nm (manufacturing process) and we are moving, pretty soon, 10nm, one level down,” said Simone Severini, the firm’s technology lead for Sub-Saharan Africa.

“How soon, in the next few months?” we asked. The executive nodded. “It’s normal, right?” Severini noted.

Read more: Mediatek taking ‘a bit of a break’ from flagship chips

So would that mean a move to 8nm? “Ja… Probably eight, but… I don’t have visibility on that…” Severini answered.

Does this mean we can expect the upcoming Snapdragon 845 chipset to adopt an 8nm manufacturing process? The new chipset is tipped for a December reveal in Hawaii. And the Snapdragon 835, released this year, is the only 10nm chip by Qualcomm at the moment.

If the Snapdragon 845 is confirmed for an 8nm manufacturing process, it would certainly be a surprise. Right now, the latest rumours claim a 10nm process for the yet-to-be-revealed chip.

The company recently revealed the Snapdragon 450 as well, a budget-minded chip that’s manufactured on the slightly larger but still power-efficient 14nm process. But how long until we see phones with this silicon? Severini estimates that we’ll see SD450-powered devices surfacing in the second quarter of 2018.



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