Qualcomm eyes Samsung for future chip manufacturing amid high demand

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Qualcomm eyes Samsung for future chip manufacturing amid high demand
Credit: © Reuters.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM ) has indicated potential plans to partner with Samsung (KS: 005930 ) Foundry for chip manufacturing, a move driven by the high demand for chips and the limited production capacity at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). The information was disclosed by Qualcomm's Senior Vice President Alex Katuzian and CEO Cristiano Amon in an interview with ETNews.

TSMC currently produces Qualcomm's products, including the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, on its N4P node. However, the demand for chip production surpasses TSMC's capacity, creating opportunities for other major chip companies like AMD (NASDAQ: AMD ), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), MediaTek, and Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA ). This situation has led Qualcomm to consider dual-sourcing from TSMC and Samsung in 2024 when Samsung's new 3GAP node initiates high-volume manufacturing.

At the Snapdragon Summit 2023 held recently, Alex Katuzian confirmed that both Samsung Foundry and TSMC are essential in Snapdragon chip production. This decision is guided by Qualcomm's roadmap as stated by CEO Cristiano Amon. Despite earlier setbacks, Samsung Foundry's advanced 3nm and 2nm processes have reignited interest from major chip firms, including Qualcomm.

Qualcomm's partnership with Samsung extends to the MX smartphone division, even amidst competition from Samsung's in-house Exynos chips. There are rumors that Qualcomm might employ Samsung's second-generation 3nm process for some Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chips. Notably, Samsung's GAA transistor design provides an advantage over TSMC’s FinFET design for the 3nm process.

Samsung is also engaging multiple firms regarding its 1.4nm and 2nm process nodes while developing its third-generation 3nm process technology. While mid-range and entry-level chips like the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 and Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 are fabricated on Samsung's 4 nm node, it's unclear if future high-end Snapdragon chips will also be made by Samsung. The company's broad product array includes mobile APs, 5G modems, AR/VR chips, and IoT devices, with not all needing advanced nodes.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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