The Qualcomm Snapdragon 895 is still months away at least from an official launch, but initial reports about it are already here. More importantly, the report also brings back into attention an issue that has proven to be a potential dealbreaker for the erstwhile flagship, the Snapdragon 888 – overheating. According to a post on Twitter by Ice Universe, a Lenovo China executive has seemingly confirmed that the next generation flagship chipset from Qualcomm, which will power future flagship Android phones, is codenamed SM8450, and will feature 4nm chips from TSMC. The latter will be the platform for custom Qualcomm Kryo 780 cores, which will power the Snapdragon 895 in question.
With the Snapdragon 895, Qualcomm will apparently move from Samsung to TSMC as the core vendor. The apparent reason behind this is the issue of overheating that has been reported fairly widely about the Snapdragon 888, which features 5nm cores built by Samsung. While this has not caused as big a furore as the media outcries with the Snapdragon 810 from six years ago, Qualcomm is apparently quite unhappy with the issues, and as a response to these issues, has already introduced a second flagship chip, the 7nm based Snapdragon 870. The latter hardly has a significant real-world difference in performance with the Snapdragon 888, and that has led to many phones using it – instead of the higher volume that may have ended up licensing the Snapdragon 888.
While rumours of an upcoming Snapdragon 888+ continue, the latest leaks state that the Qualcomm SM8450 will not be the latter, and instead be a new generation Snapdragon 895. This makes a fair bit of sense, because the ‘plus’ sub-cycle chip refresh does not typically bring a change in the chipset fabrication process. The latter is usually saved for new chips, and we may see it at the end of 2021 with the purported Snapdragon 895. As of now, it remains to be seen if Qualcomm speeds up development of the new chip, although a global supply shortage may play spoilsport to any such plans.