The Snapdragon 888 and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 were made by Samsung Foundry, and both chips faced overheating and performance throttling issues. Due to this issue, Qualcomm awarded the production of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 to TSMC. However, Qualcomm could come back to Samsung in the future.
Don Maguire, Qualcomm’s Senior VP and CMO, revealed the company’s plans while talking to journalists (via TheElec). He revealed that Qualcomm is “maintaining a cooperative relationship with Samsung” and that the company could work again with the South Korean firm for 3nm and 2nm semiconductor chips.
When reporters asked whether Qualcomm would use a dual-foundry strategy, Don Maguire said, “Qualcomm is too large to go with a single foundry.” He added, “The multi-foundry strategy is much easier in terms of supply, but it is also advantageous in terms of price competitiveness and scale. In particular, a multi-foundry strategy is more appropriate for expanding into business areas other than smartphones.”
For its 3nm chips, Qualcomm is said to have chosen TSMC as its primary partner, but some of them could also be manufactured by Samsung Foundry, especially if the company doesn’t face yield and performance issues. Samsung is planning to start the mass production of 2nm chips by 2025.
Unlike its previous-generation nodes, Samsung Foundry has implemented the GAA technology for its 3nm process node, and it is expected to bring significant gains in terms of power efficiency. TSMC is currently using the FinFET structure for its 4nm and 3nm chips and is expected to bring GAA technology with its 2nm node.