U.S.-based chip manufacturer Qualcomm might be the first company to release a system-on-chip (SoC) created using a 7nm crafting process.
According to article from Android Authority citing a Tweet from leaker Roland Quandt, Qualcomm’s as-of-yet unannounced Snapdragon 855 chip will be the first SoC to be manufactured using a 7nm process.
Qualcomm won't say it, but their contractors do. Snapdragon 855 (SDM855) is the first 7nm SoC. (probably the one the X24 modem ends up in) pic.twitter.com/Ot1J34fQoG
— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) February 15, 2018
Qualcomm has already manufactured a chip using a 7nm process — its X24 LTE modem. Quandt suggested that the X24 might be the LTE modem used on the Snapdragon 855.
It’s important to note that manufacturers have yet to release a device powered by Qualcomm’s already announced Snapdragon 845 processor.
The Snapdragon 845 — like the Snapdragon 835 — is built using a 10nm process. The Snapdragons 820 and 821 were manufactured using a 14nm process.
The ‘nm’ in 7nm refers to the half-pitch measurement between different nodes on a chip. This means that the full distance between a node and its nearest neighbour is precisely 14nm.
The smaller the half-pitch measurement, the less energy required to transmit information between nodes. This means that chips with smaller half-pitch measurements are able to transmit more information faster, while simultaneously consuming less power.
As a result, 7nm chips will be faster than their 10nm and 14nm cousins.