Latest reports indicate that the first batch of the much-awaited Snapdragon 820 chips have been sent to a customer for testing purposes, and if all goes well, they’ll start shipping officially, once the testing phase gets over. To fully resolve the thermal issues, the company is said to be using Samsung’s state-of-the-art 14 nm manufacturing process, as also TSMC’s new 16 nm technology, which is slated to be used for Apple’s A9 chips.
Meanwhile, some rumors on the internet seem to suggest that the Snapdragon 820 chips will ship with stock clock-speeds of 3.0 GHz. Sources however, point out that those speeds will only be achieved by overclocking the processor, while the stock chips will ship with significantly lower speeds.
Saying the Snapdragon 810 has been an absolute unmitigated disaster for Qualcomm, would be an understatement. The current flagship chipset from the American chip-maker has been embroiled in controversy, mostly related to its reported overheating, while under heavy stress. While the company officially doesn’t admit there’s anything wrong with the chip, the fact is, most knowledgeable buyers would probably avoid upcoming devices with the chip, just to be on the safe side. The company itself is probably waiting to tide through this period with minimal damage, while silently waiting for its next-gen flagship, the Snapdragon 820.
That would put device makers like Sony and OnePlus in an immediate disadvantage, as their Xperia Z3+ (Z4 in Japan) and the upcoming OnePlus Two respectively, are both powered by the aforementioned chipset. While some may blame TSMC’s 20nm manufacturing process for the sub-optimal thermal performance of the Snapdragon 810, the fact is, Qualcomm probably got taken in by the speeds of the Apple’s A8 and Samsung’s Exynos 5433 chips, and tried to bridge a gap too far. The company rushed in something that was half-baked to begin with, as the company went with standard ARM designed cores rather than taking the time to design its own custom cores, like it had been doing with its KRAIT architecture previously. However, with the upcoming Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm is using a 64-bit Kryo kernel, developed in-house.