Qualcomm will be using Samsung’s technical prowess in the chip fabrication process for its first batch of 5G chips, set to be released next year.
The chips, which will be built on a 7nm procedure, will be manufactured using the Korean company’s Low Power Plus (LPP) Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUV) technology for the first time.
In the future, EUV is expected to make single-nanometer chips a possibility.
This manufacturing process is said to bring sizable improvements over the previous 10nm process used by Samsung, with a 10% improvement in performance, a 35% reduction in power usage, as well as a 40% increase in area efficiency.
The smaller footprint of these chips means more area can be allocated to components such as the battery, other than leading to slimmer designs.
The ground for the new factory, which will specialize in this particular process, was inaugurated this week. Qualcomm’s 7nm baseband modem has already been announced, though, we’ll have to wait until 2019 to find it in a Snapdragon chipset.
Samsung’s Official Statement
Samsung VP of foundary sales, Charlie Bae said,
We are pleased to continue to expand our foundry relationship with Qualcomm Technologies in 5G technologies using our EUV process technology. This collaboration is an important milestone for our foundry business as it signifies confidence in Samsung’s leading process technology.
The current year will see a number of 5G trials from carriers worldwide, after the specification was confirmed two months ago.
Samsung’s enhancements in the 7nm chip business will allow it to close the gap with Taiwan’s TSMC, whose traditional 7nm FinFET process beats Samsung over current flagship mobile chips.