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Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 & 7 Gen 1: Switching to TSMC increases clock speed and reduces consumption


Qualcomm With the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, Qualcomm strengthens the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 smartphone SoC top model. There are no differences in the range of functions, but the clock speeds increase and consumption decreases. The “4nm process” remains, but now comes from TSMC and no longer from Samsung. The Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is brand new.

Thanks to TSMC N4 1.0: 10 percent more clock speed for CPU and GPU

The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 still has a CPU cluster with a Cortex-X2, three Cortex-A170, and four Cortex-A510, but the cores clock higher: the big one can clock up to 3.2GHz instead of the previous 3 .0GHz. core still owed Qualcomm the clock speeds for the smaller ones in the run-up to the presentation. The GPU, which is still just called “Adreno” without an identifier, should also be able to run 10 percent faster clock speeds. The real figurehead of the 8+ Gen 1 is actually something else: power consumption.

Thanks to TSMC N4 2.0: the same performance with 30 percent less consumption

According to Qualcomm, the new SoC achieves the same CPU and GPU performance as its predecessor while consuming 30 percent less power. With the new higher clock speeds, the advantage in absolute terms is slightly smaller but still significant. All in all, Qualcomm speaks of a 15 percent reduction in the power consumption of the SoC.

The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 from TSMC’s N4 production (Photo: Qualcomm) The reason lies in the change in production: although it remains with a 4 nm process, production takes over for the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 for the first time TSMC and not Samsung. For months there have been reports that Qualcomm might consider a full switch from Samsung to TSMC because returns at Samsung are very poor – Samsung was even accused of beautifying quarterly reports in this regard. With Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the first step is now done. The partnership with Samsung would have had serious consequences for Qualcomm.

For example, competitor MediaTek entered Qualcomm in terms of unit count in 2021, with higher chip yields due to manufacturing at TSMC being a major influencing factor. And in late 2021, MediaTek announced the production of the Dimensity 9000 at TSMC in the N4 process. Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, 8 Gen 1, 888 Plus, and 888 Compared The political problem that Qualcomm’s production is currently on shows the CEO’s visit to Samsung this Friday The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 should be a solid argument for Qualcomm in negotiations with Samsung. But a higher yield cannot be forced. Switching to TSMC is not easy either: TSMC can hardly save itself from orders and the 4nm process from Taiwan is said to be significantly more expensive than that from South Korea. No wonder the second new product of the day comes from Samsung.

Snapdragon 7 Gen 1

Parallel to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, Qualcomm is also introducing a completely new SoC with the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1. After the 8(+) Gen 1, it is the second SoC in the new naming scheme. This SoC is also manufactured in 4 nm – but still by Samsung.

The Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 offers three major innovations compared to the predecessors of the 7xxG series: it inherits the 7th generation AI engine from the 8 series, receives a 14-bit Spectra ISP for up to 200 MP Photos, and Features Qualcomm’s New Secure Enclave. The clock remains as with the predecessor Snapdragon 780G at a maximum of 2.4 GHz, but the cores are new (ARMv9) – Qualcomm has not yet said exactly which combination is used and the datasheet does not provide this information either.

Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 datasheet (Image: Qualcomm) Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 datasheet (Image: Qualcomm) Rumors recently spoke of four Cortex-A710 and four Cortex-A510, as well as an Adreno 662 GPU, which could be a further development of the Adreno 660 from the Snapdragon 888. Numerous OEMs are planning to launch the first end devices with Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 in the second quarter and thus at the end of June.

The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 still comes from Samsung in 4nm (Photo: Qualcomm) ComputerBase got information about this article from Qualcomm under the NDA. The only requirement was the earliest possible publication date.