The global semiconductor shortage has hit the tech sector pretty hard. While some analysts have predicted the crisis to continue beyond 2022, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon remains optimistic. He said last week that the crisis is waning and that the global chip supply could improve by 2022.
Amon was speaking to reporters from South Korea in the backdrop of Qualcomm’s latest chip announcements, including the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. He added that chip supply has already increased from 2020, adding that it could improve further in 2022.
The chip crisis has hit Qualcomm pretty hard as it was unable to provide enough processors to phone makers. This eventually led to the cancellation of multiple products. The impact was prominent on Samsung which happens to be one of the largest smartphone producers in the world.
Qualcomm’s latest flagship smartphone chip will come from Samsung Foundry
Samsung’s mobile head TM Roh met with U.S.-based chip manufacturers to obtain enough chip supply ahead of 2022. Interestingly, Samsung Foundry is producing the aforementioned Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset using its 4nm nodes.
The Elec quotes a source saying the supply of the new Qualcomm chipset will depend on Samsung Foundry’s yield rates. This could spell trouble for Qualcomm as a number of smartphone makers rely heavily on its chipsets.
Qualcomm went with Samsung Foundry for its latest chipset over TSMC’s 4nm nodes, which reportedly offer better efficiency. It’s common knowledge that TSMC is the global leader when it comes to mobile SoCs. However, Apple secured a big chunk of the chip maker’s resources which would involve the production of the A15 Bionic, M1, M1 Pro, and the M1 Max.
On the other hand, the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 will also leverage TSMC’s manufacturing process. This essentially means that there’s very little room left for the likes of Qualcomm. So the only plausible solution was to go with Samsung Foundry.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 would feature on a number of flagships in 2022. Reports suggest the chip could debut with the Xiaomi 12 this month. The Samsung Galaxy S22 series would also feature the new Qualcomm silicon, though it would only break cover by early February.
Speaking of the global chip shortage, Samsung was forced to delay the Galaxy S21 FE. The phone will now break cover next month, just weeks before the Galaxy S22 makes its debut in the marketplace.