Qualcomm starts sampling next-gen Snapdragon SoCs to OEMs
Qualcomm has started seeding the next generation Snapdragon Mobile Platform to OEMs for testing and evaluation in course for an official unveiling in Q4 2018. The new Snapdragon SoC will be built on a 7nm process, possibly by TSMC, and will work best with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem. 5G rollout is expected to begin towards the end of this year and Qualcomm's new Mobile Platform is expected to be a front-runner in the transition to 5G.
Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon stated,
We are very pleased to be working with OEMs, operators, infrastructure vendors, and standards bodies across the world, and are on track to help launch the first 5G mobile hotspots by the end of 2018, and smartphones using our next-generation mobile platform in the first half of 2019."
We've not heard much about Qualcomm's plans for the next generation Snapdragon Mobile Platform apart from the fact that it will be based on a 7nm process. There have been whispers about a new Razer Phone successor in the works, which will apparently sport the Snapdragon 855. However, word on the street is that Qualcomm might opt for a new nomenclature from this generation apparently referred to as SDM8150 in order to distinguish smartphone SoCs from those designed for Windows 10 on ARM notebooks.
Qualcomm is bullish on making headway in the 5G space by offering the first 5G NR-ready modem in the Snapdragon X50. Field testing of the Snapdragon X50 is underway with major carriers across the world and 5G services are slated to debut in the US by end of this year. Recently, the company also unveiled compatible antennas for the Snapdragon X50 that can operate in the mmWave and sub-6 GHz frequencies.
The launch of a new Snapdragon SoC towards the end of the year is always a bit irksome for those looking to buy flagship Android devices between Q3 to Q4. This year, Google will be launching the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in October, LG is expected to launch the V40 ThinQ sometime between October-November, and Sony is expected to reveal the Xperia XZ3 during IFA 2018. So, buyers will essentially be left with an older chipset through the major part of next year. #FirstWorldProblems.
Most smartphone vendors, however, will be announcing new refreshes of flagships towards MWC 2019 so it will still be a while before a new SoC reaches our hands. MediaTek, Qualcomm's main competitor in the budget smartphone space, is also expected to rollout 7nm SoCs towards the end of this year.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what improvements a 7nm chip brings to the table in terms of compute and power efficiency. We should be getting some tidbits of information on benchmarking sites as OEMs test the new SoC so do watch out for those.
Qualcomm (PR Newswire)