First 3nm chips to hit the market sooner than you think

We’re already living in a world with 7nm chips, but 2019 will be the first year that all flagship devices will be equipped with chips built on the 7nm process. The Kirin 980, Apple A12 have already proven that moving to 7nm chips offers an incredible boost in performance and efficiency, but we’ll have to wait until early 2019 to get our hands on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 which will likely be the most common 7nm chip next year.

Getting to 7 nm wasn’t an easy feat, but chip makers are already putting in the work to deliver 5nm and 3nm chips. Needless to say, moving to 5nm and then down to 3nm will be a challenging and expensive endeavor. With the continued reduction in size, chip makers will likely be forced to change the underlying architecture from FinFET to a multi-gate or gate-all-around architecture to further improve efficiency. This will require new manufacturing techniques and new facilities and machinery to build them.

TSMC has already announced plans to bring its 5nm production facility online by late 2019 or early 2020, but the company has just revealed that its 3nm production line which is expected to cost $19 billion has just passed its environmental assessment and is scheduled to be operational sometime in 2022. TSMC may not be a name you recognize, but you’re likely familiar with their works since they are the ones who build the chips for Qualcomm, NVidia, AMP, MediaTek and dozens of other “chips makers.”

The announcement comes as a surprise since TSMC has been quiet on the subject of 3nm chips for a long time. According to an internal report, the company didn’t want to show its hand, giving it a potential lead over Samsung and Huawei’s chip-making businesses.

With 2019 right around the corner, 2022 will be here sooner than you think. Just to give you an idea of how far we’ve come over the past few years, 2012 was the year that the Nvidia Tegra 3 was the most sought-after chip. The chip was built on the 40nm process with 4 main cores and a 5th battery-saver core. By the time 2022 rolls around, the 3nm process will allow TSMC to cram in nearly 1,000% more semiconductors on the same size chip. 

It may be hard to get excited about a 3nm SoC that you won’t be able to use for another 3-4 years, but the process takes a lot of time. TSMC is planning to start construction of the 3nm chip facility in 2020 with the installation of the equipment to build the chips scheduled for 2021. Once that’s done, it’ll be about a year before the manufacturing process is completed, tested and refined before the fir commercial chips from Qualcomm, MediaTek and others start rolling off the line.

The 7nm chips we have now are already extremely powerful and efficient. What new and amazing features are you hoping to see on smartphones and other gadgets running 3nm chips in 2022?

Source: GizChina

World’s first SD855 smartphone benchmarks kill the competition

When Qualcomm
announced the new Snapdragon 855 last month, they promised that the new 7nm
chip would be significantly more powerful than the Snapdragon 845 and would
also give Huawei’s Kirin 980 and Apple A12 a run for their money. While it’s
easy to get excited about claims like that, we’ve been waiting for some
real-world numbers to back them up.

Thanks to today’s unveiling of the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT which is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, we can now get a better look at howmuch more powerful Qualcomm’s new chip actually is.

During the Z Pro GT’s unveiling, Lenovo shared some numbers, revealing that the phone managed to score a mind-boggling 368,480 points onAntutu. When compared to the Antutu benchmark numbers of the iPhone XS, the Lenovo Z Pro GT has a 3-5% performance advantage. But that gap grows to 20% when matched up against devices running the Kirin 980 and there’s an astounding 25% gap when you look at devices running the Snapdragon 845.

To be fair, the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT’s Antutu benchmark numbers area little skewed since the benchmarked device was equipped with 12GB of RAM. By removing the RAM “advantage” that the phone has over its competitors, Antutubelieves that the phone would still manage a score in the 360,000 point range. Even with this drop, the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT is still the most powerful smartphone to be benchmarked by Antutu and should give us a good baseline for how other Android smartphones running the Snapdragon 855 should perform. For those who don’t know, a leaked Antutu benchmark score for the upcoming Samsung GalaxyS10 surfaced recently with a score of 343,051. Since the device isn’t expected to make its debut for at least two more months, those scores couldeasily reach 360,000 as the software is finalized and performance optimizationsare made.

While few of you will likely be buying the new Lenovo Z5 ProGT, the performance numbers we’re seeing from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 lookpromising. The new chipset will deliver incredibly powerful smartphones in 2019 and the new 7nm manufacturing process will also give those devices improved battery life.

What’s your take on the performance of the new Snapdragon
855? Do you think it’ll be worth upgrading from a high-end 2018 smartphone to
one running a SD855 in 2019? Share your thoughts in the comments.

OnePlus misspoke, won’t have ‘the first’ Snapdragon 855 smartphone

At the Qualcomm’s Tech Summit, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau announced on stage that the company would be “the first” to launch a smartphone powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 (presumably the OnePlus 7). The news came as a big surprise since OnePlus devices typically hit the market in early summer. With Qualcomm leading the charge with the first Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, the company would either have to make dramatic changed to its product launch cycle or the launch of the Snapdragon 855 would be coming later than expected. 
In the end, neither of those scenarios will play out. As it turns out, Pete Lau’s statement was slightly off due to a translation blunder. The slides for the presentation should have read “among the first” instead of “the first,” which dramatically changes what we momentarily thought would be a significant shift for OnePlus. Unfortunately, the PR team at OnePlus made things worse by sharing the false news to its social media channels.

Several hours after Pete Lau’s on-stage mistake, a spokesperson from OnePlus confirmed that Lau has misspoken.
“We appreciate the opportunity to clarify that we will be one of the first to have access to, and use, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, and apologise for the miscommunication.” 
Mistakes like this are inevitable, but we’re sure that the folks at OnePlus aren’t taking it lightly. At this point, we don’t know when OnePlus’s Snapdragon smartphone will hit the market, but we’re excited to see what the company has in store for us with the OnePlus 7 and any other devices it releases in 2019.
Source: Engadget