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Qualcomm has confirmed that its next-generation flagship Snapdragon SoC for smartphones. Most likely to be named Snapdragon 855, the SoC will be built using the 7nm process. However, it's still unclear if TSMC or Samsung would produce the chips. Rumors suggest TSMC will be taking care of the production.
The news comes after Huawei confirmed its upcoming HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor, which will also be using the 7nm process. This process lowers down the power consumption of the chips and pushes their performance limits.
The announcement also includes Qualcomm's plans to bring support for 5G networks. According to the press release, the "7nm SoC can be paired with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem" to support the next-gen wireless communication technology.
The company won't be using the X50 modem inside the upcoming Snapdragon 855, but could be used as an optional extra for specific 5G devices. The new SoC will likely include Qualcomm's X24 LTE modem inside, an upgrade over the current X20 LTE implementation inside the Snapdragon 845.
Many manufacturers have already confirmed that they will launch dedicated 5G phones next year. Qualcomm is clearly pushing for 5G adoption but it's going to be a bonus, rather than core technology, in its next SoC. The next SoC will arrive in Q4 2018, when the company usually launches its flagship chipsets.
Huawei also recently announced that its Kirin 980 chipset will back the Mate 20 flagship. It will also be the first commercially available 7nm smartphone chipset as well.
"According to Mr. Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei CBG [consumer business group - ed], Huawei will unveil the Kirin 980 at IFA, which will be the first commercially available 7nm chip in the world," read an official press release sent to South African media (h/t: Gearburn) and obtained by Android Authority. "The Kirin 980 will power the Mate 20 series."
The company has also given a possible launch window for the Mate 20 series launch. "Huawei Mate 20 will launch with the world's first 7nm chipset this October," reads another excerpt of the press release.
Smaller manufacturing process yields a more powerful and efficient chip. So users can now expect better performance and longer endurance from the new chipset. It's believed that Qualcomm and Apple will soon join Huawei in bringing a 7nm smartphone processor.