Tuesday September 18, 2018

Qualcomm's PC Snapdragon has Over 8 Billion Transistors

The German site Winfuture reports that Qualcomm's first "PC" processor is a massive chip by ARM SOC standards. The octacore SXC8180 packs a total of 8.5 billion transistors into a single chip, a substantial jump over the 6.9 billion in the 7nm Apple A12 and Kirin 980, not to mention the 5.9 billion in Qualcomm's own 845. For reference, AMD's Raven Ridge die used in some low power laptops has 4.94 billion transistors. Winfuture previously said that the Snapdragon 1000 series is supposed to feature a 12W TDP, and that the design is built for laptops instead of tablets or smartphones.

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Considering the details and the fact that the SCX8180 is manufactured by the Taiwanese contract manufacturer TSMC in a process with only seven nanometers of structure width, an obvious question arises: why Qualcomm uses the enormously increased number of transistors.

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