At the recent shareholders meeting the CEO of the Samsung Devices Solutions division Kyehyun Kyung reported that the company’s foundries are improving the yield rates for advanced process nodes.
The executive explained that each new node brings higher complexity, so improving the yield rates requires time, but didn’t offer any specific details.
The company didn’t officially confirm it, but the yield rate for the 5 nm node, the one used for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, is reportedly only 35%. This makes Qualcomm’s flagship chipset expensive and difficult to produce. Samsung’s own Exynos 2100 is fabbed in the same foundry.
Samsung is also reportedly lagging behind TSMC in sub-5 nm yield rates. This may cause Qualcomm to switch foundries for 3 nm chips. Apple has probably already reserved a significant portion of TSMC’s 3 nm capacity for future Apple A and M chipsets and it’s not the only one (e.g. AMD is working on 3 nm Zen CPUs).
There is talk that the switch may happen as soon as this year – reliable leaksters are reporting that Qualcomm will shift part of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 production to TSMC later this year (and that the new chips will be marketed under the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ name).