Qualcomm is expected to unveil its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 next month which is expected to use TSMC’s 4-nanometer (nm) process node. It will be the company’s successor to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
However, recent leaked documents suggest that there might be another surprise in store.
South Korean blog gamma0burst shared these documents and revealed that Qualcomm, in collaboration with partners like Samsung, is working on a second variant of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 based on TSMC’s N3E (enhanced) 3nm process.
As anticipated, the documents also state that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC will include the Cortex-X4 prime, Cortex-A720 performance, and Cortex-A520 efficiency CPU cores.
At present, smartphones boasting 3nm chipsets consists solely of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, both featuring the Apple A17 Pro chipset.
For context, a lower process node means that the chip’s components are smaller. This allows more components to fit inside the chip, making it more powerful and energy efficient.
Qualcomm previously released two flagship Snapdragon processors of the same generation. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. Both processors had the same CPU combination, but the key difference lay in the manufacturing process.
The standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 1—manufactured on Samsung’s 4nm process—mostly had issues with overheating and power efficiency. While the later-released Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1—manufactured on TSMC’s 4nm process—significantly improved power efficiency and reduced smartphone temperatures by up to 30%.
Following this trend, it is possible that the 3nm variant could be a “Plus” version or potentially the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, which may launch at a later date in 2024.
In the meantime, stay tuned for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 launch, set to take place during the Qualcomm Summit in Hawaii from October 24-26, 2023.