One of the most powerful mobile processors on the market right now is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835, featured on Sony's Xiaomi Mi6 and Xperia XZ Premium. However, Qualcomm will already be developing the next "engine" for the 2018 tops including Samsung Galaxy S9.
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This is not the first time we mention the fact that Samsung and TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) are working on the next upscale engine. Snapdragon 845 will be your most likely name and will use a new 7nm build process. But after all, what is this 7nm? This is the acronym used to represent the unit of measurement “nanometers”, a measurement that equals one billionth of a meter.
One of the Galaxy S9's "engines" will be the Snapdragon 845
Year after year, increasing the processing power and power of SoC's requires increasing the number of transistors inside. This is only possible by decreasing the size of the entire circuit. All this to include more transistors without increasing (and preferably decreasing) processor size. This is where lithography comes in, the construction of the circuit itself. As a matter of curiosity, given their small size these are carved directly into silicon.
Samsung will already be working in partnership with TSMC to develop this new 7nm lithography process that can be used to build the Snapdragon 845, one of the engines that is expected to power the Galaxy S9. We will be able to see the brand's next high-end at the 2016 Mobile World Congress, which runs from February 26 to March 1. Until then, we still have long months to wait but we know that the South Korean builder is already developing this Galaxy S9.
In 2018 we will have other processors with the new 7nm process, Huawei's upcoming Kirin and of course the offers from MediaTek and even Nvidia. At the moment the most powerful SoC's use a 10nm process and this evolution would represent a performance increase of 25 to 35%. The energy consumption and physical size of these models would also be reduced. As a result, the Galaxy S9 and other devices using the Snapdragon 845 may be even more compact.
We'll have news from Qualcomm next week but it won't be the engine announcement for the Galaxy S9. The new mid-range processors, the Snapdragon 660, are expected to be unveiled. These "engines" will be featured on the new Samsung Galaxy C, Xiaomi Redmi Pro2, Xiaomi Mi Max 2, Nokia 7 and Nokia 8. The new SoC will have 8 processing cores with maximum speeds of 2.3Ghz and an Adreno 512 graphics.
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