New Snapdragon 8 Gen4 Chipset
In the realm of mobile chip architecture design, Arm has long been the undisputed leader, dominating the field with its public core architecture and powering the majority of cell phone processors. However, a significant change is on the horizon, driven by Qualcomm’s strategic acquisition of Nuvia, a chip architecture design company founded by former Apple A-series processor engineers in 2019.
In 2021, Qualcomm made a pivotal move by acquiring Nuvia, aiming to leverage its expertise and design capabilities to create more potent and energy-efficient chips. And it seems that this bold strategy is yielding impressive results. According to recent revelations from blogger Digital Chat Station, the forthcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen4 mobile platform will showcase the fruit of this collaboration, employing the self-developed Nuvia CPU architecture.
Up until now, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen3, set to be launched in October, still adheres to Arm’s public architecture with an octa-core CPU design featuring the Arm Cortex-X4 as its super-large core.
In stark contrast, the Snapdragon 8 Gen4 chipset will mark a significant milestone in Qualcomm’s history by adopting a new dual-cluster octa-core CPU architecture. This innovative approach comprises two Nuvia Phoenix L cores for exceptional performance and six Nuvia Phoenix M cores for mid-level processing. This change will undoubtedly shape the future of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 5G SoC and bring forth a new era in mobile processing capabilities.
To enhance the overall performance and efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Gen4 chipset, Qualcomm will be producing the chip using TSMC’s cutting-edge 3nm process, a historic first for the company. Concurrently, Apple is also making strides with its A17 Bionic SoC for the iPhone 15 Pro models, initially launching on TSMC’s N3B process and later transitioning to the N3E process.
While the move towards self-developed architecture showcases Qualcomm’s commitment to innovation, this transformation may introduce uncertainties for terminal manufacturers. With a shift from Arm’s public architecture to a proprietary design, questions regarding performance, power consumption, and compatibility may arise. Yet, the promise of more powerful and efficient chips suggests that the potential benefits outweigh the challenges.