Reports indicate that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chip will be produced by TSMC – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. According to the reports the next-generation mobile processor from Qualcomm will be produced on a mass scale using the latest 7nm technology of TSMC.
Qualcomm’s choice of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company will be viewed as a blow to South Korean conglomerate, Samsung, a giant in the sector. One of the reasons cited for the ditching of Samsung by Qualcomm is the fact that the South Korean firm will be unable to manufacture 7nm chipsets next year. This is not the first time though that Qualcomm’s mobile processors are being produced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Both Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 were produced by the Taiwanese firm.
The decision by Qualcomm to turn to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company for the production of its next-generation mobile processor coincides with the chip maker obtaining a permit allowing it to test driverless cars on Californian public roads. The Department of Motor Vehicles in the state of California issued the permit authorizing the testing of one car and three drivers. This comes in the midst of the chipmaker’s efforts to establish itself in the driverless car market.
“We certainly expect to be a key player in the autonomous space,” said Nakul Duggal, a vice president at Qualcomm for automotive.
Driverless car chipset
Three months ago Qualcomm unveiled the 9150 C-V2X chipset that allows vehicles to communicate with each other as well as with infrastructure including traffic lights. According to Duggal such technology would work well with chips to improve safety.
Already field trials have been conducted by Qualcomm in conjunction with Ford in California’s San Diego County. Other field trials are expected to take place in Japan, Italy, Germany, China as well as the U.S. state of Michigan.
Other chipmakers that have been allowed to test autonomous car technology in the state of California includes Nvidia, which was issued with a permit more than a year ago, and Samsung, which was issued with a permit earlier in the year. Nvidia’s automotive partners include Volvo, Tesla and Toyota.