Apple had apparently booked all TSMC’s facilities forcing Qualcomm to switch to Samsung’s foundry exclusively for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4. Then the dark satanic rumour mill suggested that Qualcomm was not opting for Samsung afterall, which meant that it must be using TSMC.
Now it seems that TSMC is adding more customers to its N3E lines next year, and Apple’s rival Qualcomm will obtain a place after all.
Total N3E shipments allocation for Qualcomm is not mentioned and the Tame Apple Press insists that its sources are telling it that Apple may have secured nearly all of TSMC’s 3nm wafer shipments for this year.
However, next year is different. The Commercial Times reports that Qualcomm and MediaTek will share the N3E production lines as they prep their next-generation smartphone chipsets. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 is said to be the first product from the company to feature custom Oryon cores which were possible thanks to the Nuvia acquisition, while MediaTek has its plans.
In fact, Qualcomm had a good reason for not wanting TSMC’s N3B node this year. The process is suffering from increased wafer cost and low yields Apple is happy to incorporate them because its margins are huge, but Qualcomm isn’t.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 launching later this year is said to be mass-produced on TSMC’s N4P or advanced 4nm architecture, and it too has been rumoured to be more expensive than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which was said to cost $160 per unit.