According to recent rumors, Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chipset for Android smartphones could finally surpass the performance of Apple’s latest A17 processors found in the iPhone 15 Pro.
Benchmark leaks indicate the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 scores over 10,000 in multi-core tests on Geekbench 6 – a threshold typically only reached by laptop and PC chips. This supposedly comes with exceptional power efficiency drawing only 8W, on par with existing Snapdragon offerings.
In contrast, the Apple A17 scores around 7,214 in the same benchmarks while hitting a peak power consumption of 14W. This suggests a nearly 40% performance lead for the Gen 4 versus Apple’s flagship mobile processor.
Sources cite Qualcomm’s new Oryon CPU cores, also planned for Windows laptops, as a key driver behind the Gen 4’s major boost. Additionally, rumors point to exclusive manufacturing by TSMC rather than a split arrangement with Samsung.
On the graphics side, leaks note the Adreno 830 GPU will deliver large gains in speed and efficiency reminiscent of past generation-on-generation leaps. Early Android device prototypes purportedly score over 7,200 in wildlife testing, potentially topping Apple’s M2 MacBook chip.
If substantiated, this would mark the first instance of a Snapdragon solution outdoing Apple’s latest iPhone silicon in years. With the rollout timeframe currently rumored for 2024, there remains a possibility for changes before launch. But the leaks Promise extremely competitive performance for upcoming Android flagships if achieved.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 Reportedly Solely Using Pricey TSMC 3nm Process
Further leaks indicate Qualcomm may exclusively tap manufacturing partner TSMC and its cutting-edge 3nm process technology to produce the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip. This deviates from older rumors of a split arrangement with Samsung.
Industry sources cited by Taiwanese Tech News say Samsung’s 3nm yields currently remain insufficient for Qualcomm’s needs. Additionally, TSMC’s enhanced 3nm process, dubbed N3E, promises considerable efficiency and performance benefits that Snapdragon cannot forfeit.
Past generational comparisons highlight the advantages of TSMC’s approach – the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 built on TSMC 3nm easily outperformed its predecessor fabricated by Samsung.
However, fully investing in Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 production in TSMC has significant cost implications that Qualcomm admits may drive pricing higher than previous chipset generations.
With the 8 Gen 4 not expected until 2024, there is still an opportunity for adjustments moving forward. But for now, leaks suggest the processor’s exceptional capabilities rely on an exclusive and more expensive TSMC-based manufacturing pipeline – costs likely passed to consumers buying Android flagships packing the new Snapdragon platform.