Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus: Improved Manufacturing Process, Upgraded CPU, GPU and Everything There Is to Know

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Qualcomm has pressed forward with several Snapdragon SoC launches in the past with the moniker ‘Plus’ or ‘+,’ but with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus, things could be heading in a different route. According to various reports, the San Diego has tapped a new supplier to mass produce its flagship SoC, believing that it could overcome the limitations and complaints plaguing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus Gets a New Manufacturing Process as Qualcomm Hopes to Eliminate the Problems Associated With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Qualcomm chose Samsung, and its 4nm chip technology to mass produce the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Unfortunately, there were several instances where the SoC lagged in performance and thermals, to the point where MediaTek’s Dimensity 9000 was able to beat it in the aforementioned categories. So how was MediaTek, a company relatively unknown in the flagship smartphone chipset space, able to come out with a silicon that effectively beat the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1?

For starters, MediaTek chose to give orders to TSMC instead of Samsung, and that is the direction where Qualcomm is headed. Unfortunately, TSMC will not use any cutting-edge manufacturing process for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus. It will be made on the Taiwanese manufacturer’s 4nm node, the same as Samsung’s, but with some glaring benefits. It is well-known in the industry that TSMC has the better manufacturing process in possession, which is why Apple has exclusively made the semiconductor giant its exclusive supplier of next-generation A-series and M-series silicon.

Qualcomm was reportedly frustrated with Samsung’s progress on its 4nm manufacturing process, as the Korean manufacturer was struggling with yield issues that were rumored to be at an abysmal 35 percent. TSMC, on the other hand, was said to be faring significantly better, with a reported yield rate of 70 percent, making the Taiwanese chip maker’s 4nm process the obvious choice.

A low yield rate meant Qualcomm would have inadequate Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 shipments to be passed over to its smartphone clients ranging from Samsung, Xiaomi, OPPO, and others, which would result in reduced revenue. TSMC’s 4nm manufacturing process would also be coveted since previous reports have claimed it to be more power-efficient than Samsung’s, resulting in better heat management and reduced throttling when those chipsets are stressed.

Minor Upgrades Over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in Performance, but Notable Improvements in Power-Efficiency

With every ‘upgraded’ Snapdragon SoC, Qualcomm does not make extensive changes to the SoC where performance is the talking point. With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus, the new release will maintain the same change, but there is one area where we may expect some hefty improvements. According to Weibo user Digital Chat Station, power consumption of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus is reduced by 30 percent, with power efficiency improved by 30 percent.

The tipster claims that the information he received is ‘official,’ but we will have to see for ourselves if real-world results are parallel to these improvements. The CPU and GPU architecture will likely remain unchanged. If you are looking for some performance numbers right now, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus was seemingly being tested in Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 4.

Leaked Geekbench results show the flagship SoC disappointed in the multi-core result, which it would since it is probably an engineering sample. However, take a look at the single-core score of 1277. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus is only a hairline slower than the Dimensity 9000 and much faster than the Exynos 2200, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and Snapdragon 888.

When commercial units of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus roll out, it could dethrone the Dimensity 9000 as the fastest Android smartphone SoC in existence, but that does not mean MediaTek will be sitting quietly and enjoying the show. The Taiwanese chipset maker is reportedly planning a faster Dimensity 9000 with higher clock speeds, likely designed to take Qualcomm’s latest and greatest.

Rumored Specifications and Release Date

The CPU configuration of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus is expected to remain the same 1 + 3 + 4 cluster as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. One change we can foresee is the single Cortex-X2 core running at a higher frequency. Though the tipster Sam claims below that the CPU frequency is 2.99GHz, that is barely higher than the 2.80GHz speed of the Cortex-X2 running in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Our guess is that Qualcomm may bump up that frequency to 3.20GHz, and since it will be mass produced on TSMC’s 4nm architecture, it can handle that speed increase. Next comes the release date. According to a teaser poster image spotted on Weibo, the official announcement of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus is to be held on May 20. Though Qualcomm may announce it a few hours from now, it may take a few weeks before the company’s smartphone partners launch flagships bearing the new silicon.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus announcement teaser poster

Though we are only expecting a minor performance uplift from the new product, the change in the manufacturing process has caught our eye, and we will be looking more closely at the benefits it brings if any. What changes are you expecting from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus? Tell us down in the comments.