The Full Story on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 4
Qualcomm, a well-known American semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company, has been making strides in the mobile and PC market with its Snapdragon series of chips. According to industry insiders, the company is reportedly working on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, which is expected to be built using the TSMC N3E process, the second generation of TSMC’s 3nm technology. However, the current TSMC 3nm process’s initial production capacity has been fully used up by Apple, leading to rumors that Qualcomm may face production delays or use a different process.
At the Snapdragon Summit in November 2022, Qualcomm unveiled its new generation of Snapdragon 8 platform, which featured the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, a significant upgrade over its previous offerings. Despite this progress, Qualcomm’s progress in the mobile market has been hindered by Apple’s M-series chips, which have consistently outperformed Qualcomm’s offerings. As a result, Qualcomm has shifted its focus to the PC sector, where it hopes to make significant inroads.
One of Qualcomm’s recent moves in the PC sector has been the acquisition of Nuvia, a chip startup founded by a former Apple chief architect who played a key role in the design of Apple’s A-series chips. Nuvia was developing a customizable core and server chip, which is crucial for Qualcomm to develop its CPUs, similar to Apple, Intel, and AMD.
By using custom chips, Qualcomm will have more control over the entire stack and will no longer be reliant on ARM’s public architecture, which has lagged behind Apple’s offerings. The Snapdragon 8cx series of chips, which were used in Windows ARM version and Chrome notebooks, did not perform well in the PC market.
However, with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, Qualcomm also plans to abandon the ARM CPU design and instead use its own Oryon core solution, which is customized for PC chips. This move is expected to improve multi-core performance by 40%.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 is expected to feature two Nuvia Phoenix performance cores and six Nuvia Phoenix M efficiency cores, which are likely to produce impressive benchmark scores. In specific tests, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 reportedly achieved a single-core score of 2070 points and a multi-core score of 9100 points. These scores are significantly higher than those achieved by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and are even comparable to Apple’s M2 chip.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4’s expected performance improvements are a significant development for Qualcomm, which has long been chasing Apple in the mobile market. With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, Qualcomm may finally catch up to Apple’s performance levels, and Android phones may take the lead in terms of performance.
Overall, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 is an exciting development in the mobile market. By leveraging custom chips and its own Oryon core solution, Qualcomm hopes to improve its performance and catch up to Apple’s A and M-series chips. While the TSMC N3E process production capacity may pose a challenge, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4’s expected performance improvements are a promising development for Qualcomm and the Android ecosystem.