Galaxy S25 chip might be dual-sourced; right here’s why Samsung’s model ought to outperform TSMC’s

In April, an nameless supply often known as Revengus talked about that Qualcomm may go for dual-sourcing the 3nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 SoC. Because of this the chip could be manufactured by each TSMC and Samsung Foundry. Now, famend TF Worldwide analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (through Wccftech) has bolstered this declare. Given the present droop in smartphone gross sales, Qualcomm has confronted challenges, resulting in the latest layoff of 415 workers. The excessive manufacturing value related to TSMC’s 3nm course of might be a purpose why the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will proceed to make the most of TSMC’s 4nm node for manufacturing the chip.

Moreover, the expense concerned in utilizing Intel’s upcoming 20A node has pressured Qualcomm to stop chip growth for Intel’s use. As a consequence, Kuo states that Intel’s 18A analysis and growth, together with mass manufacturing, face appreciable uncertainty and threat. With Intel’s choices turning into much less viable, TSMC and Samsung Foundry stay as the one possible choices for Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 manufacturing.

Qualcomm may select to stay with TSMC for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chipset, particularly contemplating that TSMC’s second-generation 3nm course of node, N3E, is predicted to be less expensive than the present N3B node used for constructing the A17 Bionic SoC. This SoC will energy the iPhone 15 Professional fashions this yr. Nevertheless, if Qualcomm needs TSMC solely for manufacturing its flagship smartphone chipset on the 3nm node in 2024, it’d must pay a premium to the foundry as a way to safe the mandatory 3nm manufacturing capability.

To beat this problem, Qualcomm might contemplate dual-sourcing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chipset from TSMC and Samsung. Samsung’s improved yields make it a viable choice for Qualcomm. Apparently, Samsung’s 3nm course of incorporates Gate-all-around (GAA) transistors, which encompass the channel on all 4 sides, successfully lowering present leaks and rising the drive present. Moreover, chips manufactured with GAA supply extra exact management over present circulate and ship sooner efficiency whereas consuming much less power.

Contrastingly, TSMC’s 3nm course of continues to depend on conventional FinFET transistors. Thus, one might argue that Samsung’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip may outperform its TSMC counterpart.

Twin sourcing of chipsets has been beforehand carried out within the smartphone business. In 2015, Apple relied on each TSMC and Samsung Foundry to fabricate the A9 chip for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Samsung utilized its 14nm node, whereas TSMC used its 16nm node. Samsung’s model had a barely smaller die dimension, enabling Apple to acquire a better variety of full chips from the identical 300mm silicon wafer in comparison with TSMC’s model.

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When it comes to shipments, Samsung’s A9 chip accounted for 63% of the entire iPhone 6s and 6s Plus items shipped, whereas TSMC’s contribution stood at 37%. Since then, Apple has continued to companion with TSMC for the manufacturing of its A-series and M-series SoCs.