American semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm may be developing a revision of its Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip (SoC) called the Snapdragon 836, according to recent rumors. The name of the alleged piece of silicon was dropped by a known industry insider on Monday, though the source provided no specific details on the matter. The San Diego, California-based tech giant previously revised some members of its flagship chipset family, most recently the 2016 Snapdragon 820 that received an incremental update in the form of the Snapdragon 821 that was announced last July and ended up powering a number of premium Android devices including the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, LG G6, and the HTC U Ultra.
If Qualcomm is truly developing another flagship SoC that’s meant to be released by the end of the year, the company will likely base its chip design on that of the Snapdragon 835 and build the upcoming silicon on Samsung’s 10nm FinFET process like it did with the previous product. Seeing how the Snapdragon 821 was announced 11 months ago, a minor revision of the Snapdragon 835 may be unveiled in the coming weeks, especially if Qualcomm expects that the chip will have its commercial debut by the end of the year. Several major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Samsung and LG are planning to release high-end Android devices in the second half of the year, though they are yet to indicate that their upcoming products might be powered by a successor to the Snapdragon 835. Google is reportedly working on a number of second-generation Pixel devices and seeing how the original 2016 models were powered by the Snapdragon 821, their successors might also end up shipping with the Snapdragon 836.
While it remains unclear whether Qualcomm is developing another flagship SoC set to be released in 2017, the company reportedly already started a trial production of the Snapdragon 845 that’s expected to be commercialized in 2018 and power the likes of the Galaxy S9, LG G7, and other high-end smartphones. The firm’s upcoming chipset generation is rumored to be built on a 7nm process, though Qualcomm is unlikely to introduce such major improvements this year, even if it truly has another premium silicon in the works.