Qualcomm, Samsung to deliver tiny 7nm 5G chipsets

snapdragon 845

The Snapdragon 845 is expected to power a ton of flagship smartphones this year, from Sony and Asus to Samsung and Xiaomi. But the 5G era isn’t far away, with industry experts pointing to a 2019 launch at the earliest.

The new era will necessitate a new chipset, so Qualcomm has announced the expansion of its relationship with Samsung Foundry to produce Qualcomm’s 5G-enabled mobile chipsets. These chipsets will be manufactured on a tiny 7nm process, making it much smaller than the 10nm Snapdragon 845.

Generally speaking, a smaller manufacturing process means a smaller, more efficient chip.

Benefits of a smaller chip

“Using 7LPP EUV process technology, Snapdragon 5G mobile chipsets will offer a smaller chip footprint, giving OEMs more usable space inside upcoming products to support larger batteries or slimmer designs,” read an excerpt of Qualcomm’s press statement. “Process improvements, combined with a more advanced chip design, are expected to bring significant improvements in battery life.”

Just how much more powerful and efficient can these 7nm chips be?

“Compared to its 10nm FinFET predecessors (Snapdragon 845 etc), Samsung’s 7LPP EUV technology not only greatly reduces the process complexity with less process steps and better yield, but also allows up to a 40% increase in area efficiency with 10% higher performance or up to 35% lower power consumption.”

Of course, these figures don’t seem to take into account CPU, GPU and other architectural improvements, which means the final stats might be even more impressive.

Tiny Snapdragon 855 coming?

“We are excited to lead the 5G mobile industry together with Samsung,” said RK Chunduru, Qualcomm’s senior vice president of supply chain and procurement.

“Using 7nm LPP EUV, our new generation of Snapdragon 5G mobile chipsets will take advantage of the process improvements and advanced chip design to improve the user experience of future devices.”

The news adds weight to a recent claim that the Snapdragon 855 will have a 7nm manufacturing process.

Featured image: Snapdragon 845



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