2014 hasn't exactly been a great year for American chipmaker Qualcomm. The company's Snapdragon 810 SoC has been widely criticized for its poor thermal management, leading to devices powered by the chipset allegedly overheating from sustained usage. The company has seen its shipments reduced, faced with stiff competition from rivals like MediaTek, who has steadily reduced the performance gap at the top end of the spectrum, and promises to deliver an even better experience with the world's first deca-core processor, which will come as part of the company's upcoming Helio X20 SoC. Meanwhile, former Qualcomm customers and major OEMs like Samsung have been using its own Exynos chipsets in its flagship devices, leading to further reduction in business for the chipmaker from San Diego, California. The South Korean tech giant however, is expected to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 SoC for some of its flagship Galaxy smartphones for next year.
Coming to the some of the future chipsets from Qualcomm, while the Snapdragon 820 has already been announced, it was only yesterday that sources in China claimed that the chip will actually come in two different versions – a 14nm version that will be manufactured by Qualcomm using its own LPP node, while the 10nm FinFET version will reportedly be manufactured by Samsung, using its LPE node. Now, latest reports emanating out of China seems to indicate that the Snapdragon 830 SoC from Qualcomm, which is slated to come with the model number MSM8998, will have its CPU manufactured via the 10nm process, making them significantly more power efficient than the 14nm variants of the upcoming Snapdragon 820.
It is important to remember however that both the aforesaid rumors are just that – rumors. At least, at this point in time. There is absolutely no way for anyone to ascertain the veracity of any of these claims, so a generous pinch of salt might well be in order. It is in any case, pretty early in the piece to be talking about the Snapdragon 830, when even the Snapdragon 820 is yet to go into mass production, which is expected to happen sometime later this year or maybe even early next year. Devices featuring the new chipset will probably start showing up on store shelves even later, but either way, Qualcomm will be hoping that its upcoming Snapdragon 820 and 830 chips can take it back to its glory days, when the company's SoCs used to be the fastest, most desirable chips to have on mobile devices.