Samsung’s semiconductor division is a significant driver of growth for the conglomerate. The company has key manufacturing deals with companies like Qualcomm. It mass produces their chips in its advanced facilities. Samsung manufactured the Snapdragon 835 for Qualcomm and is likely going to manufacture the Snapdragon 845 as well.
However, if a new report is believed, Samsung might lose some of Qualcomm’s business next year to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. or TSMC.
No dibs on the Snapdragon 855?
Samsung manufactured the Snapdragon 835 for Qualcomm and got dibs on the initial batch. That’s why the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ were the only two handsets available in the first quarter of this year with Qualcomm’s latest chip.
History is expected to repeat itself in the coming year as Samsung will likely be manufacturing the Snapdragon 845 as well. It goes without saying that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will be the first devices on the market in 2018 to be powered by this latest chip.
Samsung may not have dibs on the Snapdragon 855, though, if Nikkei’s report is believed. According to the report, TSMC is going to get some Qualcomm modem chip and core processor orders in 2018.
Qualcomm is reportedly going to work with TSMC to roll out a modem chip in the first quarter of next year. It may also manufacture Qualcomm’s next flagship mobile processor – the Snapdragon 855 – before the end of 2018.
TSMC will reportedly build these chips on its new 7nm technology. It’s also going to use the same technology to manufacture the processors for the new iPhones due next year.
It was reported earlier this year that Qualcomm has ditched Samsung and chosen TSMC for its 7nm processors. Samsung is expected to commence mass production of chips based on its 7nm technology in the second half of next year.
TSMC has reportedly supplied its 7nm chip development tools to clients already so it’s ahead of its Korean rival. Samsung shifted its focus to advancing the 10nm process and that led to the delay of its 7nm process. TSMC skipped the 10nm process and focused on 7nm instead.
Qualcomm’s flagship processor is used in tens of millions of devices every year. If Samsung ends up losing out a big chunk of Snapdragon 855 orders to TSMC, its semiconductor division may have to win over more clients to plug the revenue shortfall.