Some Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 chips rumored to be made by Samsung

Ever since Qualcomm abandoned Samsung Foundry for TSMC after the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 fiasco, the company hasn’t looked back. Three of its next-generation chips—Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and Snapdragon 8 Gen 3—are made by TSMC. However, the company might come back to Samsung Foundry if rumors are to be believed.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 For Galaxy chips for Galaxy S26 could be made using Samsung Foundry’s 2nm process

We recently reported that Qualcomm has tasked both Samsung Foundry and TSMC to make 2nm prototype chips. Apparently, the prototype is for a future Snapdragon 8 Gen series processor. A new rumor claims that Samsung Foundry could get to make some Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 chips. Those chips are said to be the ‘For Galaxy’ version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 5, and they will likely be used in the Galaxy S26 series. Over the past two years, Qualcomm has been launching two versions of its flagship chip: regular and For Galaxy. The For Galaxy versions of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chips have higher CPU and GPU clock speeds, and they are used in Galaxy smartphones and tablets from Samsung.

For the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, Qualcomm will reportedly use TSMC’s second-generation 3nm process (N3E). This process reportedly offers improved power efficiency and yield compared to the first-generation 3nm process (N3/N3B) that is used to fabricate the Apple A17 Pro chip used in the iPhone 15 Pro series. It was reported that Qualcomm had also looked at Samsung Foundry’s 3nm (3GAP) process but ultimately decided to go exclusively with TSMC for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4. For the Snapdragon 8 Gen 5, though, Qualcomm could use both Samsung Foundry and TSMC for the fabrication of chips.

Author’s Note: Samsung Foundry has always been a step behind TSMC for comparable semiconductor chip fabrication processes in terms of power efficiency and thermals. Apple abandoned the use of Samsung Foundry after the A9 fiasco. The company had used Samsung Foundry’s 14nm process and TSMC’s 16nm process to make the A9 chip, but the ones fabbed by Samsung Foundry turned out to be less power-efficient. Since then, Apple hasn’t looked back at Samsung Foundry. Nvidia and Qualcomm also eventually switched to TSMC.

The company’s third-generation 4nm process showed promise with the recently launched Exynos 2400 chip that is used in the Galaxy S24 series. The company also made some 4nm AI chips for firms like Rebellions and Tenstorrent. However, Samsung still has a lot to prove before it can take on TSMC and attract chipmakers like AMD, Google, Nvidia, MediaTek, and Qualcomm.

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