Qualcomm has apparently entered into an agreement with UMC and Samsung for the manufacturing of its highly-successful Snapdragon S4 processors. We don’t know the exact details on the Samsung deal, but UMC will make about 30% of what TSMC is delivering to Qualcomm today.
This move is not in any way about TSMC’s low 28nm yields or manufacturing problems, as it’s about Snapdragon S4’s great success and TSMC’s inability to deliver more of the same.
There is a huge demand on the market for Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Cortex A15 architecture, and TSMC, despite delivering good yields and having a refined 28nm manufacturing process, is not able to produce as many S4 chips as the market desires.
Qualcomm has been asking around and negotiating manufacturing deals with different foundries for some months now, and the result reportedly
is today’s news about the UMC and Samsung collaboration.
Readers must keep in mind that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 ARM CortexA15 mobile processor is not only used in phones, but it’s a powerful tablet and netbook computing solution as well.
There will be even more deals in the future, as big Qualcomm partners with S4-based designs – for example, HTC – have just entered huge markets such as the U.S. market and the demand will only increase.
The performance of Qualcomm’s “Krait” Snapdragon S4 ARM CortexA15 mobile processor is a bit higher than most quad-core Cortex A9 designs currently on the market, such as Nvidia’s Tegra 3.
There is one great performance advantage S4 has over CortexA9-based competition. The Cortex A15 architecture boosts twice the single-threaded performance of the CortexA9 architecture, and thus, all single-threaded applications will highly benefit from the improvements.