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SAMSUNG NOW TO PRODUCE QUALCOM SNAPDRAGON 820 PROCESSOR


Samsung announced today that it's begun mass production of chips using the 2nd generation of its 14nm process, the technology that will power both the company's own Exynos 8 Octa processor and that of a major rival: Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 820 will be manufactured by Samsung, using the new 14nm LPP process, and is likely to be used by multiple flagship devices available in the first half of 2016.

Samsung said in a statement the manufacturing technology used for the chips was the same as one being used for its new Exynos processors. The South Korean firm did not elaborate further or reveal the value of the deal with Qualcomm.

The news comes after a challenging 2015 for Qualcomm, who saw its Snapdragon 810 processor fall short of the company's reputation for class-leading performance in the Android space. Samsung, meanwhile, moved away from Qualcomm chips in earnest for its 2015 high-end lineup and turned in excellent results from its Exynos processors. Samsung's foundry business shouldn't be confused with the company's phone business or the chips it designs itself — it's very much for hire, and most prominently has been Apple's long-term partner in iPhone chip manufacturing.

Exact details of the deal were not disclosed, but the new 14nm LPP process is the same that is being used to produce Samsung's own Exynos 8 chips. Samsung says that this new process incorporates a three-dimensional FinFET structure on transistors, allowing for up to a 15 percent performance boost and 15 percent less power consumption over the previous generation.