South Korean multinational conglomerate company, Samsung Electronics, which is the world’s second-largest semiconductor maker, will become the sole manufacturer of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 820 mobile processors, Qualcomm Inc. announced on Thursday.
The news comes after a challenging 2015 for Qualcomm, who saw its Snapdragon 810 processor fall short of the company’s reputation for class-leading performance in the Android space. Samsung, meanwhile, moved away from Qualcomm chips in earnest for its 2015 high-end lineup and turned in excellent results from its Exynos processors.
“Our decision to choose a specific process technology is based on its ability to meet our design goals for performance, power efficiency and yield,” a Qualcomm spokesperson said.
Samsung has already begun mass production of the Snapdragon 820 chip, which will take advantage of the 14nm Low-Power Plus (LPP) process, the second-generation of the company’s 14nm FinFET technology based on the same process used to make the firm’s upcoming Snapdragon-rivalling Exynos 8 Octa processor.
“We are pleased to start production of our industry-leading, second generation 14-nanometer FinFET process technology that delivers the highest level of performance and power efficiency” said Charlie Bae, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Samsung’s system LSI Business, its processor and contract-making division.
“Samsung will continue to offer derivative processes of its advanced 14-nanometer FinFET technology to maintain our technology leadership, “he added.
Samsung believes that the 14nm FinFET process is “one of the most optimised” processes for mobile and IoT applications currently available, and is expected “to meet growing market demand for a wide range of high-performance and power-efficient applications from network to automotive”.
The Snapdragon 820 is built from four Kryo CPUs, making it Qualcomm’s first custom 64-bit quad-core processor. This marks a departure from the ARM reference cores Qualcomm has used exclusively on its 2015 line-up.