TSMC reportedly begins production of Snapdragon 875 and iPhone 12 5G modem

TSMC reportedly begins production of Snapdragon 875 and iPhone 12 5G modem
Snapdragon 875, Qualcomm's next flagship chip that will likely power most 2021 Android flagships, has apparently entered production alongside the X60 5G modem that will reportedly go inside the iPhone 12.

From previous rumors, we already know that the chip will be based on TSMC's 5nm process, which would make it more powerful and energy-efficient than the Snapdragon 865, which is built on 7nm nodes.

The X60 5G modem will probably be embedded within the Snapdragon 875

Per the latest report, Snapdragon 875's manufacturing process began last week at TSMC's Nanke 18 factory. The production capacity of the facility has apparently been increased considerably to keep up with demand. Unlike the Snapdragon 865, the new flagship SoC will come with an embedded modem. The X60 5G baseband will also probably be manufactured by TSMC and its the same chip that will also likely be used by Apple's for the upcoming iPhone 12. It will support both mmWave and sub-6 GHz 5G networks. The A14 Bionic, which will fuel the iPhone 12, is also a 5-nanometer chip. 

Since most 5G-Android flagships feature Qualcomm's current X55 modem, the iPhone 12 will have faster 5G speeds than the likes of Galaxy S20 as the new chip can aggregate signals from sub-6GHz and millimeter-wave sources at the same time and dynamically channel data through the best available sources. 

Currently, Qualcomm is said to be investing around 6,000 to 10,000 5nm wafers every month and TSMC is expected to deliver both the SoC and the modem by September. That's not to say that the chipmaker will launch the next-gen chip in September.  So, don't expect any Snapdragon 875-powered phone in 2020, as the silicon will supposedly not go official before December.

Still, consumers can look forward to speedier Android phones in the second half of 2020, thanks to the Snapdragon 865 Plus, which apparently does exist after all. 

The Snapdragon 875 is tipped to feature ARM's Cortex-X1 super core, which offers 30 percent higher peak performance than its predecessor, the Cortex-A77, that's there on the Snapdragon 865. It will seemingly be joined by three Cortex-A78 cores. The Cortex-A78 CPU boasts a 20 percent higher performance than the Cortex-A77. It is also expected to feature eight Kryo 685 cores and the Adreno 660 GPU.

In laymen's terms, the new chip will offer better performance and reduced power consumption. 

What we will be more interested in seeing is whether an integrated modem will drive down the overall cost of the chipset. The Snapdragon 855 is reportedly much more costly than the Snapdragon 845, and the Snapdragon 865 is even more expensive. That's supposedly the reason why the upcoming Google Pixel 5 will not have a flagship chip inside.

Even if Qualcomm does reduce the price of its new chip, the Pixel 6 still probably wouldn't use it, as Google is making it's own SoC reportedly. 

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