Future Snapdragon 600-series chips from Qualcomm may be built on the 10nm process node technology, according to recent reports from China. The San Diego, California-based semiconductor manufacturer has been leveraging 14nm solutions for its latest mid-range silicon offerings but could be preparing to transition at least some of them to a more advanced process as early as this year. The company's most powerful system-on-chip to date was built on the second generation of Samsung's 10nm FinFET process node but even if Qualcomm is to utilize the technology for its more accessible offerings, it would likely rely on the original 10nm solution employed for the production of last year's Snapdragon 835 and Exynos 8895 chips.
The first 10nm mid-range silicon from Qualcomm is planned to be released in the second half of the year, insiders claim, adding that the module is likely meant to directly rival MediaTek's Helio P60 built on the 12nm process node. The Snapdragon 600 series is over half a decade old now, with the original 28nm Snapdragon 600 being introduced in early 2013. The last addition to the lineup was the Snapdragon 636 announced last October, whereas the Snapdragon 640 and 670 are presently said to be in the works, with their specifications leaking on several occasions in recent months. The latter model was already claimed to be based on the 10nm technology and may be the first mid-range offering from the company manufactured on the said process node.
Qualcomm took to this year's iteration of Mobile World Congress to announce the Snapdragon 700 lineup meant to bridge the gap between the 600 and 800 series, though it's currently unclear which process technology will be product family utilize. A move to a 10nm solution should allow the company's mid-rangers to become more energy-efficient while marginally improving their raw computational power. Should Qualcomm successfully commercialize 10nm solutions in the middle price bracket, it may prompt more original equipment manufacturers to utilize its higher-end offerings from the 600 series. Despite being its best mid-range silicon to date, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 660 was only implemented into a small number of globally available smartphones in the last half a year, with OEMs either opting for significantly cheaper solutions or deciding to upgrade their designs to the Snapdragon 800 series due to the relatively small price difference between the two, some industry watchers speculate.