Qualcomm chip roadmap leaks: Now with added hotdog*

No integrated 5G just yet

Qualcomm's revamp of its mobile system on a chip Snapdragon is more than just a rebrand, according to a reliable German source.

WinFuture's Roland Quandt has said that the first SoCs to result from Qualcomm's move to using a 7nm manufacturing process will be called the Snapdragon 8150 and Snapdragon 1000. Quandt derived this information from import/export databases corroborated by LinkedIn profiles.

Both will support Cat.20 LTE speeds, so OEMs wishing to make 5G devices will need to integrate Qualcomm's 5G X50 modem separately. Given the low volumes expected as 5G rumbles along the airport apron, that's a prudent move.

The revised naming system also encompasses chips Qualcomm has been targeting at Windows 10 Always On Arm laptops: the Snapdragon 850 is to morph into the Snapdragon 8150.

The flagship smartphone chips will include a dedicated neural processing unit. Previously Qualcomm has touted its Hexagon DSP to improve the performance of neural networks.

Among the many gimmick uses touted by Huawei and others, there are some useful ones such as in-call noise reduction. Real-time language translation is another that's almost ready for prime time.

The reports, with plenty more detail, can be found here and here.

Apple has already been shipping products using chips based on the 7nm process; Huawei announced its 7nm Kirin 980 chips at IFA last month. Samsung uses its own manufacturing techniques, and outlined some details of the process (but not the chips) in July. Apple, Huawei and Qualcomm design their own chips and leave TMSC to manufacture them. This useful reader thread explains who does what in more detail.

In 2019, legacy chip maker Intel is expected to ship products based on IP it acquired after its slurp of deep learning startup Nervana in 2016.

But Intel has its own problems manufacturing enough 10nm chips - although one subsequent analyst note has suggested that talk of a longer-term problem might be a little too pessimistic. ®


* The Not Hotdog, as you may recall, was an ML app designed to support a TV joke in HBO's Silicon Valley, a piece of satire real tech firms have seemingly taken too seriously.

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