Less than half a year after the presentation of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1Qualcomm released an update to its flagship SoC, dubbed the “Plus”. The new hardware comes with the promise of exciting performance improvements, as is often the case with these types of mid-releases. However, the most important thing does not have to do with the specifications themselves, but with a drastic change in its manufacture.
Qualcomm has chosen to move away from Samsung and lean towards TSMC foundry services. Thus, hand in hand with the Taiwanese, it has evolved on the technical side, being able to introduce improvements both at the CPU and GPU levels.
An important point to note is that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 are exactly the same in virtually every aspect. Where they do differ is in the clock speed of the processor and the graphics, and it is not something minor.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has one Cortex-X2 core at 3.0 GHz, three Cortex-A710 at 2.5 GHz and four Cortex-A510 at 1.8 GHz. While in the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 the speeds are 3.2 GHz in Cortex-X2 , 2.8 GHz on the Cortex-A710 and 2.0 GHz on the Cortex-A510; and that must be added a 10% increase in Adreno GPU clock speedalthough for now Qualcomm has not given more details about it.
As explained AnandTech, this increase in performance responds to the change in the production line. Like its predecessor, the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 has been manufactured using a 4-nanometer process, but TSMC’s efforts have yielded better results than Samsung’s. The SoCs manufactured by the South Korean firm have encountered various drawbacks, including higher than expected power consumption.
In fact, Qualcomm claims that it has optimized the power consumption of the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 by up to 30% compared to the previous version. And while that percentage wouldn’t be entirely realistic (it doesn’t take into account the SoC’s higher maximum clock speeds), it would. would consume 15% less in daily tasks than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
Qualcomm leans towards TSMC for the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
Qualcomm entrusting the production of the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 to TSMC is a major blow to Samsung. Although analyzing what has happened in recent months, it is not a total surprise.
Samsung’s problems with its 4 nanometer process have not been limited to Qualcomm’s SoC. The company itself has also suffered with the Exynos 2200 chip, which has generated enormous expectations but has not given the expected results. Recall that at the beginning of this year it was rumored that no mobile phone in the Galaxy S22 line would use it, due to performance and temperature problems. This has finally not been the case, but the chip has been far from meeting the high expectations generated by its alliance with AMD.
Let’s also note that TSMC has used its 4-nanometer process to produce the MediaTek Dimension 9000. Said SoC has presented a formidable performance, equaling or even surpassing the benchmarks of the Exynos 2200 and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. To the point that it has even been hinted that it could be part of the Galaxy S23 line next year. It would not be strange, then, if this also influenced Qualcomm to hand over the production of the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 to the Taiwanese.