Qualcomm, the world's largest supplier of processors for mobile devices, has signed supply contracts with Samsung Semiconductors and United Microelectronics Corp. to manufacture Snapdragon S4 system-on-chip devices and application processors as well as baseband chips using 28nm process technology, according to a media report.
Earlier this year Qualcomm announced plans to outsource manufacturing of chips originally produced at 28nm node at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to other foundries after TSMC failed to fulfill Qualcomm's demand for the latest Snapdragon S4 family of products. According to China Economic News Service, Qualcomm decided to contract both Samsung Semiconductor and United Microelectronics Corp.
Initially, Qualcomm will only get 3 to 5 thousands 300mm wafers processed using 28nm fabrication process from UMC, which is about 20% - 30% of the volume it gets from TSMC. The amount of wafers Qualcomm will receive from Samsung Semiconductor is unclear. As both Samsung and UMC ramp up production using 28nm process technology, the volumes intended for Qualcomm will likely increase.
It is ironic that Samsung Electronics produces leading-edge mobile SoCs not only for Qualcomm, but also for Apple as well as makes its own Exynos system-on-chip products and application processors at its fabs.
Qualcomm, Samsung and UMC did not comment on the news-story.