Qualcomm Technology Licensing Vice President of Engineering Sudeepto Roy confirmed that the San Diego, California-based tech giant will partner with TSMC on the Fin Field Effect Transistor (FinFET) process technology. While speaking at a recently held press event in Taiwan, Mr. Roy noted how Qualcomm has been collaborating with the local semiconductor manufacturer since 2006 and 65nm chips, adding that the two are keen on continuing their partnership in the future and expanding it to new solutions. Much like before, Qualcomm will still be responsible for coming up with efficient integrated circuit (IC) designs and be supported by the TSMC's node fabrication operations with the goal of creating new FinFET chipsets. The companies are aware of the increasingly difficult task of maintaining's Moore's Law — which states that the number of transistors per square inch on an integrated circuit doubles on an annual basis — but are adamant to continue doing so for the foreseeable future using all tools at their disposal, according to Mr. Roy.
Qualcomm's VP also noted how the company is heavily involved with the rest of the Taiwanese tech segment and collaborates with a wide variety of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) on everything from smartphones and tablets to PCs and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, suggesting how its decision to expand its partnership with TSMC is just an extension of that strategy. Mr. Roy didn't provide more details on the new collaboration that should lead to commercialized products by 2018.
The latest turn of events coincides with a report from mid-June when industry sources close to Qualcomm claimed that the company is looking to partner with TSMC on the development of 7nm FinFET chips after collaborating with Samsung Foundry on 10nm and 14nm chipsets in the last several years. Shortly after the emergence of that particular report, other insiders claimed that Qualcomm only commissioned TSMC for the manufacturing of 7nm FinFET baseband chips and has yet to decide on the partner for its new mobile application processors. The upcoming Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip (SoC) is expected to be manufactured on the 7nm process node and should power the majority of Android flagships released in 2018, including those from Samsung, HTC, Huawei, and LG.