Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and other upcoming Qualcomm flagship SoCs to be built by TSMC
Qualcomm has typically contracted out the manufacturing of its chipsets to Samsung or TSMC. It appears now, however, that the American company will be pivoting to TSMC for the mid-term—at least with its flagship chipsets.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Qualcomm is set to have its upcoming flagship 5G chipsets built by TSMC. From all available reports, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2—which will debut later this year—will be built by the Taiwanese company. This choice is said to continue across 2023 and 2024, which would see both the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 built by TSMC as well.
This does raise questions about Samsung's nodes, as the Exynos 2300 remains in doubt. Kuo recently claimed the Galaxy S23 series would use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 exclusively, leaving Samsung's 4nm process—at least—with very little demand. As it stands, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 alone makes use of Samsung's 4nm node, after Qualcomm switched to TSMC with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.
If all of this is to be believed, Samsung stands at a strong disadvantage until 2025. TSMC already accounts for 60% of the smartphone chip-making business, and that figure will likely rise in the short term, particularly with MediaTek's mid-range and sub-premium SoCs becoming more popular than ever.
(2/2)— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) July 13, 2022
Qualcomm had been Samsung's most critical advanced-node customer. Qualcomm's move means TSMC's advanced node advantages will markedly lead Samsung until at least 2025.