Samsung upset after Qualcomm chose TSMC as the sole maker of its next generation of chipset

- Adrian Ungureanu

Samsung has decided to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm chips for next year’s Galaxy S9 after the American chipmaker decided to name Taiwan’s TSMC as the sole manufacturer for the next generation of 7nm chips.

Samsung usually uses Qualcomm chips for almost half the shipments of its flagship S phones, while the rest is secured from its own chip-making unit. But for the upcoming S9, Qualcomm chips will make up less than 40 percent of the total shipments, according to Korean press.

The latest decision comes after Qualcomm chose TSMC over Samsung as the sole producer of its next-generation 7-nanometer mobile processor.

TSMC, the world’s largest foundry firm, won the latest deal for the 7-nanometer chip as it succeeded in completing the manufacturing technology earlier than Samsung.

“Taking advantage of its status as a key client, Samsung is putting pressure on Qualcomm for future deals,” said an industry source.

Samsung’s local suppliers are also adjusting their production schedule for the S9 to reflect the reduced use of Qualcomm chips. For instance, Samsung plans to feature a substrate-like PCB, an advanced circuit board technology that houses components vertically to allow more internal space within the device, for the S9 phones running on its own Exynos chips only, and the suppliers are said to be working on 60 to 70 percent of the total shipments.