Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics have extended their strategic foundry collaboration to manufacture Qualcomm Technologies' latest Snapdragon premium processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, with Samsung’s 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology.
"Using the new 10nm process node is expected to allow our premium tier Snapdragon 835 processor to deliver greater power efficiency and increase performance while also allowing us to add a number of new capabilities that can improve the user experience of tomorrow’s mobile devices," said Keith Kressin, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies. Inc.
Snapdragon 835 is in production now and expected to ship in commercial devices in the first half of 2017. There's a strong possibility that Samsung's Galaxy S8 -- due for release early next year -- will use the chip, along with Samsung's own Exynos SoC. Phone makers LG and HTC could also use Snapdragon 835.
The new chip becomes the first mobile SoC at 10nm beating rivals such as Apple which is reportedly using TSMC’s 10nm process for a planned iPhone 8 chip and Mediatek which announced it could deliver the first 10nm SoC.
In October, Samsung announced they are the first in the industry to enter mass production of 10nm FinFET technology. Compared to its 14nm FinFET predecessors, Samsung’s 10nm technology allows up to a 30% increase in area efficiency with 27% higher performance or up to 40% lower power consumption. Using 10nm FinFET, the Snapdragon 835 processor will offer a smaller chip footprint, giving OEMs more usable space inside upcoming products to support larger batteries or slimmer designs. The newSOC will be the Qualcomm's fastest mobile chip, so it'll deliver better graphics, application performance, and faster LTE service. It will be based on Qualcomm's next-generation architecture, which will be detailed at CES in Las Vegas early next year.
Process improvements, combined with a more advanced chip design, are expected to bring significant improvements in battery life. Specifically, the latest generation of Qualcomm's fast-charging technology, the Qualcomm Quick Charge 4, will be available with the Snapdragon 835 processor.
Quick Charge 4 promises to deliver faster charge times and higher efficiency than prior generations. For typical premium phone users, Quick Charge 4 is engineered to extend smartphone use by five or more hours with only five minutes of charging. Using Dual Charge, Qualcomm Technologies' parallel charging technology, users can enjoy up to 20 percent faster charging and up to 30 percent higher efficiency compared with Quick Charge 3.0. Quick Charge 4 also integrates USB Type-C and USB-PD support.
Quick Charge 4 features the third release of INOV (Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage), a power-management algorithm designed by Qualcomm Technologies. INOV now includes real-time thermal management, which is designed to advance charging optimization by automatically determining and selecting the optimal power transfer level for a given thermal condition.
In addition, Quick Charge 4 comes with safety features for both the adapter and mobile device. Protection is implemented at multiple levels and throughout the entire charging process to more accurately measure voltage, current, and temperature while protecting the battery, system, cables and connectors. An additional layer of protection is also being added to help prevent battery over-charging and regulate current throughout every charge cycle.
For optimal Quick Charge 4 performance, Qualcomm Technologies is introducing the newest power management ICs (PMIC), SMB1380 and SMB1381. With low impedance, up to 95% peak efficiency, and fast charging features, such as battery differential sensing, SMB1380 and SMB1381 are engineered to provide the fastest battery charging from any 5V USB Type-C or high-voltage power source while supporting ultra-thin mobile devices with a charging solution profile of less than 0.8mm. SMB1380/1 is expected to be available before the end of 2016.
$15,000 Bounty Program, Offers up to $15,000 USD for the Discovery of Vulnerabilities
In related news, Qualcomm also is launching its vulnerability rewards program designed to expand collaboration with invited white hat hackers who improve the security of the Qualcomm Snapdragon family of processors, LTE modems and related technologies. The program will be administered in collaboration with vulnerability coordination platform HackerOne, offering rewards of up to $15,000 USD per vulnerability as well as recognition in either the QTI Product Security or the CodeAuroraForum Hall of Fame, depending on the nature of the submission.
Qualcomm is inviting more than 40 security researchers who have made vulnerability disclosures in the past to participate. Participation details are available at https://hackerone.com/qualcomm.