10nm chip yield rates are reportedly not able to keep up with demand, according to a report which came through this week. A status that has and is delaying a number of next-generation smartphones in the near future. The information comes from a DigiTimes report which is said to be based on "industry sources" and specifically picks up on the Samsung Galaxy S8 as being one of the contributing factors, and also a recipient of the delays.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 (and Galaxy S8 Plus) are expected to come in two distinct variants, with one boasting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC and one equipped with an Exynos 8895 SoC. However, both SoCs are built upon a 10nm process and therefore if correct, this is likely to affect production of both models. Although the Samsung Galaxy S8 is not alone, as the next iPhone is also expected to make use of a 10nm chip, as well as smartphones which come running on MediaTek's newly-announced Helio X30 SoC.
While not providing specific details, the sources credited in this latest report do state that MediaTek Helio X30-powered smartphones are already been delayed until the second quarter of 2017. Likewise, the same sources state that the yield rates have also "pushed back Samsung's schedule" for the release of the Galaxy S8. Now, it is not clear if the assertion being made here is that the Galaxy S8 release date (following the now-confirmed March 29) has been pushed back, or whether this is actually one of the reasons as to why the Galaxy S8 is being launched on March 29 in the first place – and was not introduced during MWC 2017 as had originally been expected. In either case, the sentiment being made is that any next-generation smartphone which comes powered by a chip that makes use of 10nm FinFET technology, is likely to see a delay of some sort. The only question is how much of a delay? Speaking of which, the same report and sources do note that if 10nm yield rates do improve, then it is expected that 10nm chip-powered smartphones will account for as much as 10-percent of second quarter smartphone shipments.