Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 should be the next mobile chipset designed for high-end 2020 phones. For the uninitiated, Qualcomm designs its chips but does not have the facilities to manufacture them. Over the past two years, he turned to the world’s largest independent foundry, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), to produce the Snapdragon 845 and 855 chipsets. Previously, Samsung produced the Snapdragon 820 and 835 SoCs.
And according to a report published recently, Qualcomm returns to Samsung to produce Snapdragon 865. The South Korean technology giant will produce the chip using its EUV process at 7 nm. The 7 nm figure is related to the number of transistors that adapt to a chip. The smaller that number, the more transistors that can fit inside a chip; The more transistors on a chip, the more powerful and efficient is energy. Moore’s law, an observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965, requires that the number of transistors in integrated circuits (such as chips) double every two years. To show how far we’ve come, the Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 chip that powered the Motorola DROID in 2009 was built using the 65nm process.
A version of Snapdragon 865 may have an integrated 5G modem chip
The EUV part of 7nm EUV means extreme ultraviolet lithography. This is a technology that uses ultraviolet rays to more accurately mark silicon wafers used to create chips with patterns. These patterns determine where transistors will be placed inside a chip and when short-wavelength beams (such as those used with EUV) are used to record these patterns on a wafer, more transistors can be introduced inside.
EUV is expected to provide an increase in performance from 20% to 30% and an improvement from 30% to 50% in energy consumption for the Snapdragon 865. These are not numbers to be taken lightly. The Snapdragon 865 mobile platform will probably debut at the Samsung Galaxy S11, which will probably be presented around February 24 when the MWC 2020 show in Barcelona will begin. The chip was recently seen on the Geekbench benchmarking site, where it produced a multi-core score of 12,496. This compares with the score of 10.946 produced by the Snapdragon 855+ mobile platform. The latter is an overclocked version of Snapdragon 855.
While the 2020 Snapdragon 865 will be produced by Samsung, the report reveals that there will be two different versions of the chipset with the code name Kona and Huracan. Both will support LPDDX5 memory chips (RAM) and UFS 3.0 flash memory. However, one of these will be integrated with a 5G modem chip and the other not. Last week, Huawei launched a teaser for its upcoming Kirin 990 SoC which will be released on September 6th. The component, which should power the manufacturer’s next high-end Mate 30 phone line and the collapsible Mate X, will also have an integrated 5G modem chip. This eliminates the need for a separate component and should also improve battery life on devices that use these chipsets.
Sina.com says that for the 2021 Snapdragon 875 mobile platform, Qualcomm will call TSMC again to produce the component. The report adds that the Snapdragon 875 chipset will be produced using the 5 nm TSMC process. In that case, the chip will have 171.3 million transistors per square millimeter. Therefore, the component should be more powerful and energy-efficient than its predecessor.
So, will Moore’s law still be valid? Last year, Samsung revealed a roadmap that leads to 3nm production by 2022 and TSMC is also looking for ways to introduce more transistors into the chips. The latter is looking at ways to change the packing of chips and is also trying to stack the transistors vertically instead of side by side.
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