Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 & 7 Gen 1: Switching to TSMC increases clock and reduces consumption

With the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, Qualcomm is powering the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 smartphone model to the highest level. There are no differences in the range of jobs, but hourly rates increase and consumption decreases. The “4nm process” remains, but now it comes from TSMC and no longer from Samsung. Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is all-new.

Thanks to TSMC N4 1.0: 10 percent more CPU and GPU clock

The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 still has a CPU cluster with Cortex-X2, three Cortex-A170 and four Cortex-A510, but the clock of the cores is higher: the large version can go up to 3.2 GHz instead of the previous 3.0 GHz. Basically, Qualcomm still owes its hourly rates to the smallest in the lead up to the presentation. The GPU, still only referred to as “Adreno” without ID, should be able to run 10 percent higher clock rates.

Compared to tests conducted by editors with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in December 2021, the results for Qualcomm’s Snapgradeon 8+ Gen 1 are nearly 10 percent higher.

The real picture of the first generation 8+ is actually something else: power consumption.

Thanks to TSMC N4 2.0: Same performance with 30 percent less consumption

According to Qualcomm, the new SoC delivers the same CPU and GPU performance as its predecessor while consuming 30 percent less power. With the new higher hourly rates, the feature is a bit smaller in absolute terms, but it’s still big. Overall, Qualcomm talks about a 15 percent reduction in energy consumption for the SoC.

New Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 From TSMC N4 Product Line
New Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 From TSMC N4 Product Line
The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 produced by TSMC N4 (Photo: Qualcomm)

The reason for the change can be found in production: although it is still a 4nm process, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is first made by TSMC, not Samsung. For several months, there have been reports that Qualcomm could consider switching entirely from Samsung to TSMC because the yield at Samsung is so poor — that Samsung has even been accused of spicing up the quarterly reports in this vein. With the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the first step has now been taken.

The partnership with Samsung is said to have had serious consequences for Qualcomm. For example, competitor MediaTek outperformed Qualcomm in terms of units in 2021, with higher chip production due to production at TSMC being a major influence. And at the end of 2021, MediaTek announced the production of Dimensity 9000 at TSMC in Operation N4.

In comparison, Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, 8 Gen 1, 888 Plus and 888

It clarifies which political issue is the subject of production at Qualcomm at the moment Samsung CEO visit on Friday. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 should be a strong argument for Qualcomm in negotiations with Samsung. But a higher return cannot be charged.

However, switching to TSMC is also not a trivial task: TSMC cannot save itself from orders and the 4nm process from Taiwan is said to be much more expensive than that from South Korea. No wonder the second new product of the day comes from Samsung.

Snapdragon 7 first generation

In parallel with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, Qualcomm is also introducing an all-new SoC with the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1. After 8 (+) Gen 1, it is the second SoC in the new naming scheme. The SoC is also made at 4nm – but still by Samsung.

Samsung's new Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is still 4nm

Samsung’s new Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is still 4nm

Samsung's new Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is still 4nm

Samsung’s new Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is still 4nm

Samsung's new Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is still 4nm

Samsung’s new Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is still 4nm

The Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 brings three major innovations over its 7xxG series predecessors: It inherits the seventh generation of the 8 Series AI engine, gets a 14-bit Spectra ISP for images up to 200MP, and Qualcomms introduces a new secure area. The clock remains at a maximum of 2.4GHz as with the predecessor Snapdragon 780G, but the cores are new (ARMv9) – Qualcomm didn’t say exactly what cluster was used and the datasheet doesn’t provide that information either.

Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 data sheet
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 data sheet (Photo: Qualcomm)
Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 data sheet
Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 data sheet (Photo: Qualcomm)

Recently, rumors have been talking about four Cortex-A710 and four Cortex-A510 as well as an Adreno 662 GPU, which could be a further development of the Adreno 660 from the Snapdragon 888.

Many OEMs are planning to release their first peripherals with Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 in the second quarter, and thus by the end of June.

Samsung's new Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is still 4nm
The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is still coming from Samsung at 4nm (Photo: Qualcomm)

ComputerBase has received information about this item from Qualcomm under a non-disclosure agreement. The only requirement was the earliest possible publication date.

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