After sticking with TSMC for two years (2019 and 2020), Qualcomm came back to Samsung for its latest high-end chipset. The company's latest flagship processor, the Snapdragon 888, is built using Samsung's 5nm EUV fabrication process. And it looks like Qualcomm will remain Samsung's client for another year.
While some rumors had claimed that Qualcomm could switch back to TSMC for its next-generation flagship processor, reliable leakster Roland Quandt says otherwise. According to him, Qualcomm is already testing the Snapdragon 888's successor, the SM8450 (codename Waipio), and that it will be made by Samsung Foundry. However, it is still not clear if the next-generation chipset will continue to use the 5nm LPE process or move to a better one.
Both Exynos 2100 and Snapdragon 888 use Samsung's 5nm process, and studies show that the South Korean chip firm's 5nm LPE process is only as good as TSMC's 7nm process in terms of power efficiency. It is also being rumored that Qualcomm will launch the SM8350 Pro (probably Snapdragon 888+ or Snapdragon 888 Pro) later this year, and it will most likely be made by Samsung as well.
Samsung already makes Qualcomm's latest 5G modems—Snapdragon X62 and Snapdragon X65—using its 4nm process. Qualcomm's next flagship processor could either use the same 4nm process or use the upcoming 3nm GAA technology, which is said to bring much better power efficiency compared to Samsung's 5nm and 4nm processes.