Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus: Efficiency gains from TSMC's 4 nm process reportedly negated by the Cortex X2 core's high power draw
Poor yields from Samsung LSI's 4nm node prompted Qualcomm to look at TSMC for its silicon needs. The gamble seems to have paid off, with previous reports suggesting that the aforementioned yields were remarkably better for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus. However, Qualcomm might not be clear yet, as the SoC consumes more power than anticipated earlier.
A reliable leaker on the South Korean tech forum Meeco has heard from sources that the Cortex X2 core on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus is quite the power hog, especially at higher clock speeds. Previously, the high power draw on Qualcomm chipsets was chalked down to Samsung's inferior manufacturing node. While the latter is true to a certain degree, ARM's design may also have a part to play in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1's less-than-stellar performance.
Hence, Qualcomm could be forced to underclock the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1's prime Cortex X2 core. It could mean that the performance differential between the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1's Plus and non-Plus variants could be even more marginal, which shouldn't ideally be a problem as the former still has the potential to best the latter due to TSMC's supremacy in the chipmaking space.
Multiple rumours have speculated that Qualcomm is expected to unveil the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus sometime in June 2022. Smartphones running the silicon could hit shelves a month or so after. Several highly-anticipated flagships are slated to run the chip, such as the OnePlus 10 Ultra, Huawei Mate 50, Mi Mix Fold 2, and Xiaomi 12 Ultra.
Getting your hands on one of the above phones could be tricky, as availability is likely to be limited initially. Qualcomm doesn't have too many orders lined up for H2, 2022, presumably due to limited fab space. H1, 2023, on the other hand, will be a lot better.