Thursday, February 22, 2018

Samsung, Qualcomm to make 5G chips with 7-nanometer process

Qualcomm's future Snapdragon 5G mobile chipsets will be manufactured using Samsung's 7-nanometer Low Power Plus (LPP) extreme ultraviolet (EUV) process.

Qualcomm's future Snapdragon 5G mobile chipsets will be made using Samsung Electronics' 7-nanometer process, the companies announced.

The South Korean tech giant first showed off the 7-nanometer LPP EUV process in May last year. Samsung said in July that it will surpass rival TSMC when 7-nanometer is rolled out in 2018.

Scaling down chip sizes allows a slimmer design and more usable space for manufacturers. They also consume less power and process faster.

Compared to the 10-nanometer FinFET process that is currently widely commercialized, the 7-nanometer will allow up to a 40 percent boost in area efficiency, 10 percent higher performance, and 35 percent less power consumption, Samsung said.

In October, the South Korean tech giant developed an 8-nanometer process, considered a stop-gap between 10-nanometer and 7-nanometer, stressing that it was continuing to cooperate with Qualcomm.

The US chip giant, along with Apple, is one of the biggest clients for foundry - or contract chipmaking -- businesses like Samsung and TSMC.

Qualcomm has leaned more towards Samsung, thanks in large part to the latter's Galaxy series of smartphones, which helps sell Snapdragon series of chipsets.

The two have consistently patched things up and cooperate on a win-win arrangement, despite some disputes over licensing agreements.

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