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This Company Could Partner Again with Qualcomm in 2019

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Qualcomm’s foundry partner in 2019

While Qualcomm (QCOM) is struggling to make its mark in the server and PC processor markets, its chipsets continue to see strong demand in the smartphone market. Qualcomm is a leading player in the mobile application processor market, with more than 40% of the market. It designs mobile application processors and wireless connectivity chips that are manufactured at third-party foundries.

Qualcomm’s 14nm (nanometer) and 10nm processors were manufactured by Samsung (SSNLF). DigiTimes reported that Qualcomm might switch to TSMC’s (TSM) 7nm FinFET (fin-shaped field effect transistor) process node late this year or in early 2019.

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Qualcomm’s 2019 chipsets to be built on 7nm node

Sources stated that Qualcomm would be manufacturing its Snapdragon 800 series and 5G (fifth-generation) modems on TSMC’s 7nm node. Qualcomm, looking to cut costs, may have switched back to TSMC because it offered better pricing.

This endeavor would not the first time Qualcomm has partnered with TSMC. The chip supplier collaborated with TSMC to develop its 65nm chips in 2006 and extended the collaboration to 45nm and 28nm chips before moving to Samsung for 14nm chips.

Qualcomm plans to release three new mid-range and low-end processors, the Snapdragon 632, 439, and 429, later this year. According to MySmartPrice, TSMC could manufacture the Snapdragon 439 and 429, and Samsung could manufacture the Snapdragon 632. While Qualcomm is making significant investments in smartphones, PCs, servers, and 5G technology, its legal and regulatory issues are reducing their returns, which we’ll discuss next.

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