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Samsung may make some Snapdragon 8 Gen 3… Handwarmers incoming?

Samsung Galaxy S23 series snapdragon

Samsung may be making some Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipsets, which is quite worrying. Not only is it concerning due to Samsung’s history with inefficient, hot chips, but also the fact that it also means that there might be two versions of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 out there, and it will be difficult for users to identify the better of the duo.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3: Samsung’s 3nm GAAFET vs TSMC’s 3nm FinFET?

Image credit: TSMC

Now, I am not saying that Samsung’s version will be inferior. It’s just going to be confusing for people to choose between two different versions of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. For one, Samsung is expected to make the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 on the more advanced 3nm GAAFET node, while TSMC will use their 3nm FinFET node. GAAFET does have certain intrinsic advantages over FinFET, especially in terms of efficiency.

Qualcomm’s decision to go with this arrangement is reportedly due to Samsung’s relatively low yields with the cutting edge 3nm GAAFET process. The majority of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will allegedly be churned out by TSMC, as their yields are higher at around 80% per wafer, while Samsung is reportedly looking at less than 70% per wafer.

This arrangement will also see Qualcomm maintain a balance between the chipmakers, as it won’t be good for anyone if TSMC becomes a monopoly. Qualcomm’s decision to keep Samsung in the game ensures that Samsung can keep working on their cutting edge process nodes.

For those out of the loop, Samsung made the Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and the chips ran hot and were overall inefficient, despite Qualcomm’s best efforts to optimize them. Qualcomm then switched to TSMC to make the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and it solved their thermal woes. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is also made by TSMC.

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