After Apple A14 and Kirin 9000, another major player in 5nm mobile phone chips, Snapdragon 875, is coming. According to foreign media reports, Qualcomm officially issued an invitation letter a few days ago, announcing that it will hold the 2020 Snapdragon Technology Summit from December 1st to 2nd. Unlike previous years, due to the new crown epidemic, this year's summit will be held in the form of online digital events.
Qualcomm mentioned "high-end mobile performance" in the invitation email. Foreign media speculated that Qualcomm will officially release a new generation of flagship mobile phone processor Snapdragon 875 at the summit, but the final name has not been confirmed.
The Snapdragon 875 will be Qualcomm's fastest, most powerful, and most energy-efficient 5G chipset. According to previous news, the Samsung S21 series, which will be launched in February 2021, will be the world premiere, and the new generation of flagship phones such as the Xiaomi 11 series and the OPPO Find X3 series will be the first batch of domestic commercial use.
It is rumored that Qualcomm has reached a cooperation with Samsung this year and will OEM this top processor based on the latter's 5nm EUV process. It is reported that Samsung has begun mass production of the Snapdragon 875 on the production line in South Korea using EUV equipment, and it will benchmark the Apple A14 and Huawei Kirin 9000 manufactured by TSMC’s 5nm process.
Earlier, there were reports that Samsung lost all orders for Snapdragon 875 due to difficulties in mass production of the 5nm EUV process. Soon after, the South Korean technology giant reached a US$850 million agreement with Qualcomm to produce the Snapdragon 875, which is scheduled to be announced at the Snapdragon Technology Summit to be held on December 1. This transaction is an excellent opportunity for Samsung to prove that its 5-nanometer EUV technology is somewhat comparable to that provided by TSMC.
This may also be the reason why Qualcomm invited Samsung to mass-produce the Snapdragon 750. But then again, it is also possible that the company gave Qualcomm an undeniable offer, prompting Qualcomm to reach the deal quickly. The Snapdragon 750 will be manufactured on the 8nm FinFET node, making it less energy efficient than the Snapdragon 875. Since its production cost will be lower, it will obviously appear in lower-priced smartphones. We may see it in smartphones in December or early 2021.
In addition, it is reported that Samsung spends about US$8.6 billion annually to develop and improve its chip technology. It is reported that the company will also jump directly from 5 nanometers to 3 nanometers to make up for the gap with TSMC. Currently, TSMC produces 5-nanometer chips for Apple for its A14 Bionic. If Samsung can make the necessary efforts to increase chip development and make corresponding improvements, then it may reach an agreement with Apple in the near future.
Known news reveals that Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 will adopt a "1+3+4" eight-core three-cluster architecture, where "1" is the super-large core Cortex X1.
It is said that the big core of Snapdragon 875 is based on the "magic modification" of Cortex X1, which is stronger than Cortex A78, and the performance increase at the CPU level may reach as much as 30%.
In the past, Qualcomm's flagship processors have also adopted the "1+3+4" design, which represents the "super-large core + large core + energy-efficient core", but the difference between the super core and the large core is mainly the CPU frequency. For example, the large core of Snapdragon 865 is 2.84GHz, and the large core is 2.42GHz, both of which are Cortex A77.
The combination of Cortex X1 super core and Cortex A78 large core, which Snapdragon 875 first adopted, is a real "super core".
There are also rumors that the Snapdragon 875 will have multiple "lite versions" to cope with the rising cost of smartphones. Qualcomm may also confirm this at this upcoming press conference.
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