Apple’s New M4 Chip Forces Qualcomm to Redesign Snapdragon 8 Gen 4

snapdragon x plus qualcomm
Image Courtesy: Qualcomm
In Short
  • Qualcomm is redesigning the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chipset after the single-core scores of Apple's M4 processor have come out.
  • The next flagship processor will see an increase in clock speed to 4.26GHz and will switch to Phoenix cores instead of the ARM cortex cores.
  • It won't feature a Scalable Matrix Extension to handle complex tasks efficiently which could result in increased battery consumption and heat.

Apple’s M4 processor which powers the recently launched iPad Pro shows record-breaking single-core scores in the benchmark. This could have prompted Qualcomm, to rethink and redesign their upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 application processor (AP). Going by the rumors, the next flagship processor will see an increase in clock speed going from 4GHz to 4.26GHz.

This news comes from an X post by jasonwill101 who says the redesign could be finalized by June. This time, Qualcomm will ditch the ARM Cortex CPU cores with their own Phoenix cores instead. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4‘s configuration might include 2 large Phoenix CPU cores and 6 medium Phoenix CPU cores. However, we may not see any small low-powered cores.

The design of the 8 Gen 4 AP will be based on the Snapdragon X Elite processor built for laptops. It won’t feature a Scalable Matrix Extension (SME) as the X Elite does not work with the ARMv9 instruction set. This means it won’t be able to efficiently manage complex tasks like Apple’s M4 processor, which also helped in higher benchmark results.

Image Courtesy: Qualcomm

The increase in clock speed to 4.26 GHz will also compensate for the decrease in performance due to the lack of SME. It will be manufactured by TSMC using its second-generation (N3E) 3nm process node. Apple’s M4 chipset was also built on the same node. Apple may use it for the A18 and A18 Pro smartphone processors, set to debut with the iPhone 16 series.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 4’s redesign will make it one of the best-performing processors in the market, but the battery life could take a hit. It is also possible that the phones may exhibit heating issues, so the phone manufacturers have to plan for it accordingly. The processor will come out in October, and we might see the first phones powered by it somewhere around December this year or January 2025.

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