TSMC‘s partnership with Qualcomm may be in jeopardy, as the smartphone SoC manufacturer appears to be considering a switch to Samsung Foundry (SF) for its future mobile APs. Despite being the pioneers in the 3nm race this year and implementing the more advanced GAA-FET technology, Samsung Foundry has faced difficulties in attracting customers.
Both Qualcomm and MediaTek have opted for TSMC’s older 4nm technology for their latest chipsets (Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Dimensity 9300), leaving Samsung Foundry lagging behind. Consequently, Samsung not only lost potential customers but also experienced a significant decline in revenue. In retrospect, Samsung Foundry successfully produced the Exynos 2400 and secured AMD and Tesla as potential consumers. However, TSMC has widened the gap by attracting major customers to its side.
That may change in the near future since a report by FT has pointed out that Qualcomm may look to side with SF rather than TSMC in the future for its upcoming Snapdragon SoCs. This is interesting since Samsung recently lost Qualcomm as its customer, and this will be an opportunity for it to regain its lost customer.
According to two people familiar with the situation, US chip designer Qualcomm is planning to use Samsung’s “SF2” chip in its next-generation high-end smartphone processors. That would mark a reversal in fortune after Qualcomm transferred most of its flagship mobile chips from Samsung’s 4 nanometre process to TSMC’s equivalent.– Financial Times
Not only that, but 2nm would represent a huge shift in the semiconductor industry in general, and it would be interesting to see how semiconductor companies manage to capture customers in the longer run. With that said, SF would have to increase its yield rate for 3nm if it wants any potential clients.
Recent reports have found that Samsung’s 4nm yield is close to 70%, but 3nm is at a meager 50%. For it to attract customers, Samsung would have to improve it to at least 70%, which it aims to do by next year.
This is all we know for now, but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.