While we are still waiting for the release of some Android smartphones with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chip, rumors are already circulating about the successor to this component. For example, blogger Evan Blass (or @evleaks) recently posted the datasheet that this new chip might have.
The publication does not specify what the commercial name of this chip will be. Nonetheless, it suggests that Qualcomm’s next premium chip would be the SM8450. And one of its main advantages would be the use of the 4nm etching process.
This would be an important step forward as the most powerful chips on the market to date, Apple’s Snapdragon 888 and A14 Bionic, still use 5nm engraving. Typically, chips engraved in 4nm will perform better while using less energy.
At the same time, according to the explanations from 9to5Google, this switch to 4nm engraving would also indicate that Qualcomm would rely on the founder TSMC for its next generation of high-end SoCs. The latter are already planning to produce 4 nm chips from the third quarter of 2021.
On the other hand, Qualcomm could be a step ahead of Apple with this new chip, which is set to equip high-end Android smartphones from the first quarter of 2022. In fact, the A15 Bionic Chip, which will equip the iPhones to be released in the last quarter of 2021, should normally still be satisfied with the 5 nm engraving.
Also note that according to Evan Blass’s release, Qualcomm’s SM8450 is said to have a Kryo 780 CPU based on Arms Cortex v9 technology, an Adreno 730 GPU and a Snapdragon X65 modem. Unfortunately, the performance gains over the Snapdragon 888 chip are not discussed. Still, it’s clear from these setups that Qualcomm’s next chip should give the premium Android models a big boost.
However, it is worth remembering that this is currently unofficial information. And that’s why caution is still required. Normally Qualcomm should present its new premium chip before the end of the year.
Samsung, for its part, should rely on an AMD GPU!
Among the competitors of this future Qualcomm chip is of course Apple’s A15 Bionic, but also the next premium chip from Samsung Exynos (as a reminder, some Samsung smartphones use Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, others use Exynos chips). And currently we already know that Samsung will equip this chip, which will succeed the Exynos 2100 in the Galaxy S21, with a GPU that was developed in collaboration with AMD.
It’s been a while since we knew the two companies were working together to bring AMD’s technologies to mobile devices. And recently AMD announced at Computex that the next generation of the Exynos chip will use its RDNA 2 architecture.
“AMD is partnering with Samsung on its next-generation Exynos SoC, which will have a custom graphics IP based on the AMD RDNA 2 architecture that provides variable rate ray tracing and shading capabilities for flagship mobile devices” According to a press release from AMD. We will find out all the details at the presentation of the new Exynos chip from Samsung.
Finally, it should be remembered that, according to a rumor, the next Google Pixel smartphones could use a chip developed by Mountain View with Samsung instead of Qualcomm chips. In essence, the smartphone chip market could be even more competitive than it already is.