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3nm Dimensity 9400 to launch in late 2024 to compete with Exynos 2500

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Last updated: February 1st, 2024 at 11:06 UTC+01:00

Four flagship smartphone processors will be launched by the end of this year: Apple A18 Pro, MediaTek Dimensity 9400, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, and Samsung Exynos 2500 (tentative name). All four chipsets will be made using cutting-edge 3nm semiconductor chip fabrication processes. More details about the MediaTek Dimensity 9400 have been revealed.

3nm Dimensity 9400 will launch in Q4 2024

Two days ago, MediaTek celebrated its Zhubei office building, which is expected to be a tech landmark in Taiwan. Tsai Ming-chie, MediaTek's Chairman, anticipated that the building would be completed in 2027. The company's CEO, Cai Lixing, talked about the success of the Dimensity 9300 chip at the celebration event and expressed confidence in the rising trend of AI in smartphones. The company has already announced that its next-generation Dimensity processor will use TSMC's 3nm (N3E) process. A new report claims to reveal its specifications and capabilities. The chipset will reportedly feature one Cortex-X5 CPU core, three Cortex-X4 CPU cores, and four Cortex-A720 CPU cores. It will also feature a dedicated NPU that is capable of processing 12-15 tokens per second in the Llama 2 test (with 7 billion parameters), which is reportedly higher than 10 tokens per second for the Dimensity 9300.

This upcoming chipset will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, and its announcement could happen around the same time Samsung unveils its next-generation flagship smartphone processor (tentatively named Exynos 2500). The next-generation Exynos processor will reportedly use Samsung Foundry's second-generation 3nm process (SF3), which is said to be slightly better than TSMC's 3nm process. Qualcomm will likely announce the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 processor in October 2024, and that chip is also expected to be made using TSMC's second-generation 3nm fabrication process.

Apple will also likely unveil the A18 Pro processor with the iPhone 16 Pro series, and it will be built on TSMC's second-generation 3nm process. It will be interesting to see which of these four 3nm flagship smartphone processors will win in terms of performance, stability, and efficiency. This year, Samsung brought back the Exynos 2400 processor, and it uses Samsung Foundry's third-generation 4nm (4LPP+) process. Next year, at least some Galaxy S25 units are expected to use the Exynos 2500 processor. While the Exynos 2400 has improved, its efficiency is still not as good as competing Apple and Snapdragon chips.

Author's Note: Samsung is reportedly working on the Exynos 2500, and the chip is internally known as the ‘Dream Chip‘. This chip is expected to be much better than previous-generation Exynos chips, as a separate team has been formed inside Samsung MX (the division that makes smartphones) to work with Samsung's System LSI team that designs Exynos chips. These teams are meant to work together to improve the performance and efficiency of Exynos chips by a huge margin. In fact, some rumors claim that Samsung could ditch the tainted Exynos branding with its next flagship processor.

Combined with the new ARM ‘Blackhawk' CPU core, Samsung's improved focus on optimization, and Samsung Foundry's second-generation 3nm process, the next flagship smartphone chip from Samsung could actually turn out to be a good performer.

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