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Snapdragon 8 Gen 3: Leaked Qualcomm Documents Unveil 4nm and 3nm Variants

Qualcomm to Introduce Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Chipset

Next month, Qualcomm is expected to introduce the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset that will be made by TSMC using its 4nm process node. This is the SoC that will replace the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 application processor (AP) found on most flagship Android phones. But there could be a surprise coming as well. Leaked documents alleged to come from Qualcomm were published revealing a second variant of the chipset.

The documents mention that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC will feature the Cortex-X4 prime CPU core, the Cortex-A720 performance CPU core, and the Cortex-A520 efficiency CPU core as expected. But they also state that there will be a second variant. While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 AP will be produced using TSMC’s 4nm process node, the second variant will be produced using TSMC’s N3E (enhanced) 3nm node. Currently, only two phones, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, are powered by 3nm chipsets (the A17 Pro).

A lower process node means a smaller feature set which means smaller transistors. With smaller transistors, more can fit inside the small space inside a chip allowing it to be more powerful and energy-efficient. As a result, there should be more transistors in the 3nm variant of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC than found in the 4nm variant.

We could see two variants of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 - Leaked Qualcomm documents reveal both 4nm and 3nm variants of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

The yield is the percentage of dies that pass quality control from a single wafer compared to the total number of dies that the wafer contains.

Unlike 2022, when the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 replaced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the leaked documents indicate that both variants of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will be unveiled at the same time. This should take place on October 24th at the Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii. It is not clear whether the second variant of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will use the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 3 moniker.

To reiterate, both variants of the chipset will have the exact same configuration. The only difference between the two will be the process node used to build each component. And this doesn’t seem to include the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy which should be an overclocked version of the 4nm chip.

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