TSMC preparing 7nm fabrication with Snapdragon 855 orders expected

The Apple A10 and A11 chips as well as the Samsung Exynos 9810 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and 845 all share one thing in common: they’re all built on transistors fabricated to be 10 nanometers large. Of course, the more transistors one fits into a space, the more theoretical computer power they have.

For a while now, we’ve been talking about 7nm as the next step down and that we could possibly see it as early as this year. But there’s been a little waffling on the part of Qualcomm’s current production partner, Samsung, in getting acceptable quality yields up in testing. But it turns out that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, well known for being an iPhone chip supplier, seems to have the edge this year.

The company expects to produce lots of more than fifty 7nm chip designs from about 20 clients by the end of 2018, Digitimes reports, and it could do so with a more advanced ultraviolet lamination method from the second half of this year.

In addition to the likes of AMD, Bitmain, MediaTek and NVIDIA, it seems that Qualcomm will be partnering with TSMC to pull off its first 7nm design, believed to be the 5G-capable Snapdragon 855, by early 2019. While Qualcomm has partnered with Samsung for the past years to bring about 14nm and 10nm chips, TSMC has had a longer history dating to as early as 2006 with 65nm chips and evolutions down to 28nm.

As for the future, TSMC is expected to invest as much as US$25 billion to begin production on 5nm fabrication with the hopes of commercialization by 2020.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.