Qualcomm Teases Snapdragon 835, built on Samsung 10nm FinFET

Subject: Processors, Mobile | November 17, 2016 - 07:30 AM |
Tagged: snapdragon, Samsung, qualcomm, FinFET, 835, 10nm

Though we are still months away from shipping devices, Qualcomm has announced that it will be building its upcoming flagship Snapdragon 835 mobile SoC on Samsung’s 10nm 2nd generation FinFET process technology. Qualcomm tells us that integrating the 10nm node in 2017 will keep it “the technology leader in mobile platforms” and this makes the 835 the world's first 10nm production processor.

“Using the new 10nm process node is expected to allow our premium tier Snapdragon 835 processor to deliver greater power efficiency and increase performance while also allowing us to add a number of new capabilities that can improve the user experience of tomorrow’s mobile devices.”

Samsung announced its 10nm FinFET process technology in October of this year and it sports some impressive specifications and benefits to the Snapdragon 835 platform. Per Samsung, it offers “up to a 30% increase in area efficiency with 27% higher performance or up to 40% lower power consumption.” For Qualcomm and its partners, that means a smaller silicon footprint for innovative device designs, including thinner chassis or larger batteries (yes, please).

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Other details on the Snapdragon 835 are still pending a future reveal, but Qualcomm says that 835 is in production now and will be shipping in commercial devices in the first half of 2017. We did hear that the new 10nm chip is built on "more than 3 billion transistors" - making it an incredibly complex design!

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Keith Kressin SVP, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies Inc and Ben Suh, SVP, Foundry Marketing, Samsung, show off first 10nm mobile processor, Snapdragon 835, in New York at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit.

I am very curious to see how the market reacts to the release of the Snapdragon 835. We are still seeing new devices being released using the 820/821 SoCs, including Google’s own flagship Pixel phones this fall. Qualcomm wants to maintain leadership in the SoC market by innovating on both silicon and software but consumers are becoming more savvy to the actual usable benefits that new devices offer. Qualcomm promises features, performance and power benefits on SD 835 to make the case for your next upgrade.

Full press release after the break!

Qualcomm and Samsung Collaborate on 10nm Process Technology

For the Latest Snapdragon 835 Mobile Processor

NEW York, NY and Seoul, korea — November 17, 2016 — Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM)  today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI),  and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., have extended their decade-long strategic foundry collaboration to manufacture Qualcomm Technologies’ latest Snapdragon premium processor, Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835, with Samsung’s 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology.

The decision to use Samsung’s cutting edge process in the next generation premium processor highlights Qualcomm Technologies’ continued dedication in being the technology leader in mobile platforms.

“We are excited to continue working together with Samsung in developing products that lead the mobile industry,” said Keith Kressin, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies. Inc. “Using the new 10nm process node is expected to allow our premium tier Snapdragon 835 processor to deliver greater power efficiency and increase performance while also allowing us to add a number of new capabilities that can improve the user experience of tomorrow’s mobile devices.”

In October, Samsung announced they are the first in the industry to enter mass production of 10nm FinFET technology. Compared to its 14nm FinFET predecessors, Samsung’s 10nm technology allows up to a 30% increase in area efficiency with 27% higher performance or up to 40% lower power consumption. Using 10nm FinFET, the Snapdragon 835 processor will offer a smaller chip footprint, giving OEMs more usable space inside upcoming products to support larger batteries or slimmer designs. Process improvements, combined with a more advanced chip design, are expected to bring significant improvements in battery life.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with Qualcomm Technologies in producing the Snapdragon 835 using our 10nm FinFET technology,” said Jong Shik Yoon, executive vice president and head of foundry business, Samsung. “This collaboration is an important milestone for our foundry business as it signifies confidence in Samsung’s leading chip process technology”

Snapdragon 835 is in production now and expected to ship in commercial devices in the first half of 2017. Snapdragon 835 follows the Snapdragon 820/21 processor, which has over 200 designs in development.

About Qualcomm Incorporated

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm’s licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm’s engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. For more than 30 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com.

Source: Qualcomm

November 17, 2016 | 09:11 AM - Posted by John H (not verified)

This could be the last non-EUV node for Samsung, which is a pretty big deal.

November 17, 2016 | 09:38 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Right, it looks like the 7nm follow up will be quite different.

November 17, 2016 | 09:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not impressed. I can hardly see the damn thing ;-)

November 17, 2016 | 10:03 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Tried to get a close up but they would allow me to!

November 17, 2016 | 11:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The costs of this node and all smaller nodes are going to go up, or not go down as much if at all, on a per transistor basis as the costs associated with EUV R&D and EUV tooling have to be amortized. And even this 10nm non EUV node will already have it's costs and the early costs of EUV added in together as that EUV R&D/Early EUV tooling is already being paid for By Samsung and others in the chip foundry industry for their future EUV production.

Moore’s law is more of an economic observation about the decreasing cost associated with doubling transistor counts every 18-24 months and Moore’s law is slowing down. Samsung and others are beginning to make the costly EUV equipment purchases for their new EUV lines as they go into some early engineering runs and some risk production runs. So for the entire chip fab Industry there will be the Initial and current EUV transition expenses that some of the current non EUV production will have to help pay for as this is what occurs with all transitions to any newer chip fab technology that have had R&D/Tooling expenses that needed to be amortized in the past.

Any EUV production will mostly be for the Flagship Phone/Tablet markets or the most high end Laptop and PC/server SKUs. Expect most SOC/APU makers to take advantage of the process node shrinks to mostly get more dies per wafer on their newer smaller process node shrinks rather that offer too many more new feature sets to any of their 10nm non EUV and especially their smaller than 10nm EUV process nodes. The cost of EUV equipment and R&D is going to take a good while to amortize for the entire chip fab industry. Phone SOCs made on this new 10nm node will get that power savings associated with any process node shrink but Qualcomm and other Phone chip designers and makers will probably be trying to get more dies per wafer rather than offering any large increases in processing power.

The next step for and Custom ARM chip makers that license Only the ARMv8A ISA and make their own custom micro-architectures to run that ARMv8A ISA is probably going to be getting some custom ARM chips that have SMT(Simultaneous Milti-Threading) capabilities. Adding SMT capabilities to a CPU’s core requires less transistors than would be required to add a completely independent CPU core. So with SMT, Phone SOC makers just by adding enough extra circuity to enable SMT in a CPU’s core can net some extra performance while not adding as much to the core’s total transistor count. SMT offers the only way to get better CPU core execution resources utilization on any CPU core’s already existing execution circuity, when that little extra SMT circurity is added.

November 17, 2016 | 01:25 PM - Posted by Shambles (not verified)

Unimportant thing by why not call it the 830 instead of the 835? If you're going to throw the naming convention out the window to use something completely different. *glare Intel and now Samsung as well*

November 17, 2016 | 11:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

AFAIK Samsung made some AMD Jaguar CPUs for their notebooks.
Now, with this 10nm process and AMD ZEN things can get interesting.

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