The Snapdragon 865 will be Qualcomm’s next flagship mobile chipset and it should be the basis of computing processing for flagship devices in 2020. Qualcomm is actually a chipset designer and they don’t have manufacturing facilities. For the last couple of years, Qualcomm has been working with TMSC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), the world’s largest microprocessor foundry to produce high performance SoCs, including the Snapdragon 845 and Snapdragon 855. Before that, Samsung produced Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 835 for Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 865 is the next generation SoC made using the 7nm EUV processing technology. It means that much more transistors can be crammed into the Snapdragon 865, due to their smaller size.
Qualcomm is about to take this to another level with the Snapdragon 875, slated for release in 2021. It will use TMSC’s 5nm manufacturing process. With this technology, even more transistors can be crammed into the chip. The Snapdragon 875 SoC will have 171.3 million transistors per square millimetre. With further miniaturization, it means that the new SoC is more energy-efficient and faster.
The manufacturing technology for mobile processors has gone quite far. In 2009, the Motorola DROID smartphone used the TI OMAP 3430 processor with 65nm manufacturing process. Not only new processors have more miniaturization, they also use advanced technology to ensure reliable miniaturization possible. The Snapdragon 865 will use the EUV or extreme ultraviolet lithography technology that allows ultraviolet beams to etch the silicon wafers more accurately to produce much smaller transistors. With EUV technology, it’s possible to reduce energy consumption between 30 and 50 percent and increase performance between 20 and 30 percent. It’s probable that the Snapdragon 865 will be for the US-version Samsung Galaxy S11, to be officially announced on February 24 next year. The Snapdragon 865 achieves multi-core score of 12,496 points on the Geekbench benchmarking list. As comparison, the current Snapdragon 855 Plus (overclocked Snapdragon 855) scored at 10,946 points for the same test.