After the mess that was the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Qualcomm probably learned from its mistakes and setbacks, launching a significantly improved Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, courtesy of an improved manufacturing process. These advancements will likely be seen in the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, along with a potentially different CPU configuration than what Qualcomm has employed on previous flagship SoCs. Here is everything you need to know about the next-generation chipset.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Will Not Shift to TSMC’s Cutting-Edge 3nm Technology, but Can Switch to Samsung Again, Under the Right Circumstances

From what we know, TSMC will exclusively undertake Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 orders. For those that do not know, the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 is also mass produced by TSMC under its 4nm process, so looking at the improvements made, it makes complete sense for Qualcomm to stick with its Taiwanese supplier. Unfortunately, with Apple being TSMC’s most lucrative client, do not expect the upcoming chipset to be made on the 3nm process since that is reserved for the M2 Pro and M2 Max.

Instead, TSMC will likely re-use its 4nm architecture to fulfill Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 orders, but Qualcomm will add a bunch of tweaking to ensure that it outperforms the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 while delivering better efficiency. One tipster has already commented that the initial samples of Qualcomm’s upcoming flagship silicon is showing better power-efficiency, beating the existing Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 and is likely to outperform Samsung’s Exynos 2300. Looking at such positivity, we are inclined to say that Qualcomm should stick with TSMC for its latest launch.

Then again, Samsung has beaten TSMC in the race to mass produce 3nm chips. The Korean manufacturer announced its 3nm GAA technology almost a month ago, with the first batch expected to be shipped to customers from July 25. Unfortunately, to our knowledge, no smartphone vendor has approached Samsung for its 3nm GAA chips, at least for now. As for Qualcomm, it could start giving orders to Samsung if TSMC starts facing mass production difficulties.

Samsung has been asked to provide 3nm GAA samples to Qualcomm on request to see if the next-generation node is worth considering for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Other factors such as costs may also be considered, so if Samsung provides a better deal than TSMC, Qualcomm may take it. Regardless of which supplier it goes to, Qualcomm will consider its position carefully as it will not want a boatload of negative press on its upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 like what happened with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Potential Specifications and Expected Performance

For multiple generations, Qualcomm has stuck with a ‘1 + 3 + 4’ CPU cluster, including the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. The first single core brings ultra-performance to the table, followed by three less powerful cores, and lastly, four cores focused on just efficiency. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 could take a different direction with a rumored ‘1 + 2 + 2 + 3’ configuration. That single high-performance core is said to feature the codename Makalu, followed by two Makalu cores, two Matterhorn cores, and three Klein R1 cores.

If the codenames for the cores confuse you, note that recently ARM announced a series of new CPU designs called the Cortex-X3, Cortex-A715, and an updated Cortex-A510, with improvements across the board. The Cortex-X3 is codenamed Makalu, whereas the Cortex-X715 is codenamed Matterhorn, and lastly, the Cortex-A510 is codenamed Klein R1 cores. Looking at this configuration, there will be three Cortex-X3 cores in total, but as is with Qualcomm’s approach, we feel that one of them will be running at a higher frequency than the remaining two.

Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 features

Whether or not this is a favorable CPU configuration to squeeze performance from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 while preventing thermal throttling, we will find out. However, we will say that TSMC’s 4nm architecture should give it an edge. Qualcomm is also likely to stick with its Kryo range of custom designs, but it will be based on ARM’s new offerings, along with a new Adreno GPU.

Alongside the unique CPU configuration, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is expected to be paired with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon X70 5G modem, reaching new peak download speeds while consuming up to 60 percent less power.

Improved Video Streaming, and Quality Thanks to New Codec Support

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 could be the first from Qualcomm to get AV1 support, allowing for an improved streaming experience. This codec offers an exceptional upgrade for better video quality and at the same file size. If viewed at the same video quality, AV1 reduces the file size, freeing up valuable space, and is 30 percent more efficient than the H.265 codec, meaning your smartphone’s available resources will be freed up.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 - When Will Qualcomm Announce It?

Qualcomm has officially announced its annual Snapdragon Summit, with presentations starting on November 14 and concluding on November 17. Going with past launch schedules, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will likely be announced on November 14, and if we are lucky, perhaps we will be graced with an Apple M1 competitor, making the ARM-powered notebook slightly more competitive.

Overall, we are raising our expectations for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, especially when the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 has proven to be a worthy A15 Bionic competitor since it beats Apple’s flagship phone SoC in a gaming test. Switching to TSMC for mass production has its perks, so we look forward to seeing what Qualcomm has in store for us.

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