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Friday, 31 May 2013 11:42

20nm mobile processors in 2014

Written by Fuad Abazovic

Snapdragon 800 successor might lead the way

We could not get the right timeframe for the launch of Qualcomm’s successor to the high-end Snapdragon 800, but there is no doubt that Qualcomm, Samsung, Nvidia and other ARM supporters are thinking about 20nm products where some of them will be based on Cortex A57.

Qualcomm has its own Krait core that can be adapted to 20nm and follow up the success of Snapdragon 600 and the soon to come Snapdragon 800. It turns out that it traditionally takes 18 to 24 months for the mobile industry to shift from one process to another and Qualcomm had its first 28nm part in April 2012, with the Snapdragon S4, used in the HTC One S. The first ever 28nm part from Qualcomm was the Snapdragon S4 MSM8260A that is now more than a year old and a relatively obsolete product.

Less than a year after the first 28nm product Qualcomm followed up with the Snapdragon 600 that is shipping in millions of high end devices right now. In a month or two it plans to release Snapdragon 800 based on new Krait 400 core and add a new core and get even better performance.

The next step is the 20nm core that should start shipping before the end of 1H 2014. We would not be surprised to see 20nm Krait demoed at CES 2014 already in January, see more of it at the Mobile World Congress in February and the volume shipment to follow in early Q2 2014. This is the expected schedule and not something we got from Qualcomm.

The only official world we got is that the new generation traditionally comes 18 to 24 months after the first iteration of a current one. This can give you an idea that Tegra 5, codenamed Logan, should show up at a similar time, along with Samsung’s 20nm Exynos.

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