Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has the potential to be way more powerful (or have a much better battery life) than its predecessor thanks to brand new chip technology.
Starting today, Samsung is manufacturing the industry’s first chips built using a 10nm FinFET manufacturing process. This means the transistors are far smaller than those built onto the 14nm and 16nm chips that appeared in last year’s Galaxy S7. As a result, we’d expect that a 10nm chip would be much less power-hungry, and potentially more powerful, than a chip built using a less efficient manufacturing process.
Jong Shik Yoon, the Executive VP of Samsung’s Foundry Business, said: “The industry’s first mass production of 10nm FinFET technology demonstrates our leadership in advanced process technology. We will continue our efforts to innovate scaling technologies and provide differentiated total solutions to our customers.”
According to Samsung, the new transistor design will mean that transistors can be placed on a chip in with 30% greater area efficiency. The company also claims that the end result will be 27% higher performance or 40% lower power consumption. That’s good news for smartphone owners everywhere.
So when will customers get these souped-up smartphones? Well if the manufacturing kicks off today, then we’d expect to see handsets debuting with 10nm chips on board early next year. And Samsung has already vowed to start mass-producing a second-generation version of its 10nm chips as soon as the second half of 2017.
Samsung hasn’t actually announced any partners yet, but earlier this month, South Korea’s Electronic Times reported that Samsung would be the sole manufacturer for Qualcomm’s rumoured Snapdragon 830 chip. That’s the US chipmaker’s still-unannounced flagship chip, which should power the most powerful smartphones of 2017. Most importantly, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is sure to use a 10nm chip, although it’s not clear whether it will feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 830, a Samsung-branded Exynos chip, or both (depending on your region). It’s also worth mentioning that Apple is expected to introduce a 10nm chip with next year’s iPhone 8 too.