Minus the Galaxy Fold troubles, 2019 has been a good year for South Korean tech major, Samsung. The company already has a string of successful phone and home appliance launches under its belt, and now reports coming out of South Korea suggest it has bagged itself a mega contract to manufacture Qualcomm's upcoming flagship chipset for mobiles, the Snapdragon 865 SoC.
Qualcomm which has an in-house designing team for its chipsets had a tie-up with Taiwanese Semiconductor manufacturing company (TSMC) for building the Snapdragon 845 and Snapdragon 855 for it. However, it now appears to be moving back to Samsung which had previously manufactured the Qualcomm 820 and 835 SoCs for it.
As per the report, the reason behind the switch is Qualcomm's belief that Samsung’s 7nm EUV process which it used to build the company's flagship Exynos chipsets this year is more advanced than TSMC’s 7nm node. Using the process, Samsung is being reported to fab two versions of the Snapdragon 865 – standard and one with a X55 5G modem.
Considering Samsung’s foundries will also be producing GPU chips for Nvidia -- which has used TSMC for years -- and IBM has also selected Samsung’s 7nm EUV foundries for the next generation Power processors, the reported decision by Qualcomm to choose Samsung for Snapdragon 865 SoC does make a lot of sense.
Yet, despite these contracts going away, it is far from the end for TSMC. The chip maker still maintains a partnership with AMD for its new Zen 2-based CPUs and the new Navi-based cards (RX 5700). Further, it is also building Apple A13 and Kirin 985 chipsets which power iPhones and upcoming Huawei smartphones.