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Samsung and Qualcomm Sign Multi-Year Deal to Extend Supply of Snapdragon Chips

Even though the Samsung Exynos 2400 Deca-core application processor (AP) performed strongly on benchmark tests, Samsung still wants to use Snapdragon chipsets on the top-of-the-line Galaxy S Ultra models and for the smaller Galaxy S models in the U.S. and China. As a result, Samsung signed a multi-year contract with Qualcomm, the fabless chip designer behind the Snapdragon line of chips.

Qualcomm announced the deal during its earnings call for 2024 and noted that the contract went into effect this year. The first Samsung phones to use Snapdragon chips covered by the deal were the Galaxy S24 series. Samsung fans can rest easy knowing that future Galaxy S and Galaxy Z phones will be powered by Snapdragon APs (depending on the region for the former series, of course).

The announcement during the earnings call stated, “We’re also announcing that we extended a multiyear agreement with Samsung relating to Snapdragon platforms for flagship Galaxy smartphone launches starting in 2024. The extended agreement demonstrates the value of Snapdragon 8, our technology leadership, and our successful long-term strategic partnership with Samsung.”

Qualcomm announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Samsung to supply it with Snapdragon silicon

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 AP will be the first to use Qualcomm’s custom CPU cores instead of Arm Holding’s Cortex cores. It is also expected to use a configuration made up of two high-performance “Phoenix” CPU cores and six medium-performance “Phoenix” CPU cores. That means that the chip will not have any low-power Efficiency cores. It also will be produced using TSMC’s second-generation N3E 3nm process node. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 could be announced this coming October.

Meanwhile, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 5 could be dual-sourced with some chips rolling off of TSMC’s assembly lines and others coming from Samsung Foundry. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was originally produced by Samsung Foundry, but issues with poor yields led Qualcomm to switch production to TSMC starting with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and expected to continue through the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4. In 2025, we will hear whether Samsung Foundry will get some of this business back.

Neither Samsung nor Qualcomm revealed the terms of the new agreement.

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