Samsung might manufacture all Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chips

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Qualcomm might be considering ditching TSMC and having Samsung manufacture all of its Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chips next year. There have been reports of the company dual-sourcing the production of the chip to the two foundries, but some suggest Samsung will get the whole contract. This change is reportedly because of TSMC’s poor 3nm yield rates. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will be Qualcomm’s first 3nm solution.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 may not be dual-sourced, after all

TSMC and Samsung are the world’s two largest semiconductor foundries, in that order. They manufacture chips for the likes of MediaTek and Qualcomm, which are fabless companies (don’t own manufacturing units). Qualcomm has historically switched back and forth between the two foundries to manufacture its flagship Snapdragon chips.


Most recently, it switched from Samsung to TSMC in 2022. The Taiwanese firm produced the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (both 4nm chips) last year. It will also manufacture the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (4nm) this year. However, rumors are that Qualcomm plans to dual-source the production of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 (3nm) next year to TSMC and Samsung.

According to previous leaks, TSMC will produce the standard solution, while the Korean firm will get orders for the “for Galaxy” version exclusive to its phones. This seems a fair split considering that Samsung will be able to better optimize the chip for its devices. However, a fresh rumor passed along X/Twitter says Samsung will get the entire manufacturing order for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, including the standard version.

The source claims that TSMC has worse 3nm yield rates (the percentage of usable chips out of the total produced) than Samsung. Moreover, most of its 3nm capacity is reserved for Apple. Qualcomm can only get about 15 percent of the total capacity. This means a potential last-minute supply shortage if TSMC can’t improve its yield rates, which is a big challenge. Qualcomm can’t risk that and is planning to ditch TSMC and move entirely to Samsung. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will debut in late 2024 and will power flagship phones in 2025.

All this said, let us tell you that this information comes from an X/Twitter user who claims to be a “semiconductor research student” studying semiconductor technologies from Taiwan and South Korea, the home countries of TSMC and Samsung, respectively. The source has been sharing insider information about the semiconductor industry for a while now. It remains to be seen how much of this is true, if at all.