After the rebranding of how Qualcomm names its flagship chips, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 produced by Samsung was released to the market in 2022 and had a mixed reception with reports of overheating and low yields. Fast-forward a few months later, Qualcomm switched the production of the chips from Samsung to TSMC and with that came the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 which is essentially the same chip Samsung produced, however, the refreshed version offered better performance while running cooler.
Now in 2023, Qualcomm has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 already out in the market and going by a new leak from Digital Chat Station, it seems like the company is now turning its eyes to the slightly less powerful Snapdragon 7 series to offer a refresh and also launch another chip into the market.
Just like the Snapdragon 8 series, Samsung developed the first iteration of the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, which according to the leak, Qualcomm is now moving over to TSMC to get a refresh. The refreshed Snapdragon 7 series, will likely get the plus moniker, just like the 8 series did.
A jump in performance while having better cooling is expected compared to the 7 series produced by Samsung, but Digital Chat Station thinks it will not outperform the MediaTek Dimensity 8200.
Furthermore, Qualcomm is also planning for the release of the second generation of the Snapdragon 7 series, which will logically be called the Snapdragon 7 Gen 2. This will be produced by TSMC from the start and performance should be solid without cooling issues.
The boost in performance when the chips are produced by TSMC instead of Samsung stems from the fact that Samsung’s 4 nm process was plagued by troubles including low yields in 2022 while TSMC’s 4 nm process has been more stable with better yields. Samsung’s issues were so pronounced that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in some tests put in lower benchmark scores than 2021’s flagship, Snapdragon 888
Frustratingly, Digital Chat Station fails to provide a timeline for when the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 1 and the Snapdragon 7 Gen 2 will hit the market. However, a forecast for the refreshed Snapdragon 7+ Gen 1 hitting the market in March or April is likely, with the likes of Redmi and Realme releasing their new midrange devices at around this time. As for the second generation 7 series, coming out a few months later around Q3 to give the refreshed 7 series time to breathe and gain market share looks like the right play.