If you own an Android phone, there is a high chance it is rocking a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor of some kind inside. Sometime in the not-too-distant future, Qualcomm will unleash a new flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 865, yet there is already talk of what comes after. That would be the Snapdragon 875, assuming Qualcomm sticks to its conventional naming scheme.
Based on a recent leak, the Snapdragon 865 is shaping up to be a worthy successor to the current-generation Snapdragon 855 (and 855 Plus). Codename "Kona," a recent entry in Geekbench's database shows the Snapdragon 865 benefiting from a healthy boost in single-threaded performance, and posting gains in multi-threaded workloads.
According to a Chinese-language report, Qualcomm is tapping Samsung to build its Snapdragon 865 SoC on its 7-nanometer extreme ultraviolet (EUV) manufacturing process. This would be a notable move, because Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has been producing Qualcomm's past two generations of Snapdragon processors, the 855 and 845.
Samsung would not be coming into the fold as a new foundry to the Snapdragon line, though. Before TSMC entered into the fray, Qualcomm sent orders for both its Snapdragon 835 and 820 SoCs to Samsung. So, there is some familiarity there.
The report extends things further out and claims Qualcomm will bounce back to TSMC for the Snadragon 875. While it is obviously a bit early in the game, it's said TSMC will build the Snadragon 875 part on its 5nm manufacturing process, for release in 2021. TSMC's 5nm node has a logic density of 171.3 million transistors per square inch, versus 96.27 million for its 7nm node.
What this boils down to is tens of billions of transistors comprising the Snapdragon 875 SoC. For consumers, this will translate into yet another performance gain and better power efficiency to boot, with both areas potentially improving significantly over the incoming Snapdragon 865 SoC.
In fact, the Snapdragon 875 is poised to be one of the most powerful chipsets of its generation when it's released. That has been generally true of the Snapdragon line as a whole, though Samsung's own Exynos silicon and Apple's custom SoCs have been formidable in their own rights. It will be interesting to see how things shake out.