Mobile phone chip 10nm process into a new hot spot next wave of 5G dispute

After the success of Qualcomm's flagship product Snapdragon 820, news about the next generation of Snapdragon 830 has begun to surface; MediaTek is actively attacking Qualcomm's 4G market by Helio series products; Spreadtrum Communications shouted 2016 Annual shipments of 600 million sets of chips, including the goal of 100 million sets of LTE chips. In addition, the focus of market competition among leading manufacturers has shifted from the “low-end market grab” to the “medium-high-end competition”, and the product dispute has shifted from “inside” nuclear warfare to “advanced craftsmanship”.

Market competition is extending towards the middle and high end

Qualcomm's flagship product, the Snapdragon 820, achieved good results in 2016. The new Snapdragon 821 of the series was just released in July. The news about the next generation of Snapdragon 830 came out in less than a month. It is said that the core code of the Snapdragon 830 is MSM 8998, which will adopt Samsung's 10nm process technology and integrate the more advanced LTE Cat.16 network mediator. The theoretical downlink speed reaches 1Gbps, and the product may be in 2017. Officially put on the market.

Not only does Qualcomm continue to strengthen the brand's effectiveness in its flagship products, Spreadtrum Communications has been promoting the 64-bit 8-core LTE chip after its official launch of the SC9860 at the MWC show in February this year. Li Liyou, CEO of Spreadtrum Communications, said: "It can be seen that the products before Spreadtrum have been oriented to the low-end market, and now we will work in the mid- to high-end market."

MediaTek, according to the microblog analysis of the research director of Huaqiang Electronics Industry Research Institute, in the second quarter of this year, MediaTek's 4G chip shipments exceeded Qualcomm for the first time in the mainland market. This is mainly due to the mid-end products of MediaTek's Helio series, which have achieved good results both online and offline.

Mobile phone chip 10nm process into a new hot spot Next wave of 5G dispute

10nm process into a new hot spot

Two or three years ago, the most representative smartphone chip battle was a "core war." Many consumers still remember this. However, with the improvement of processor performance, especially the current research and development strength of mobile phone chip manufacturers in the market is very strong, the simple "core dispute" has been difficult to open the gap between each other, resulting in the core war has cooled.

Correspondingly, the recent competition for advanced manufacturing technology by mobile phone chip manufacturers is becoming more and more fierce. Advanced technology is becoming a position for smart phone chip manufacturers to compete for their own strength. After 14/16 nanometer nodes, 10 nanometers are becoming several giants. The next wave of competition focus. On the one hand, the reason why smart phone chip manufacturers are so active in adopting advanced technology is that there is an urgent need for technology. According to an interview with reporters, Zhang Xun, the vice president of Spreadtrum, said that in general, different chip manufacturing processes will lead to changes in chip performance. The smaller the process, the more chips that can be integrated per unit area, the performance of the chip will increase, and the smaller. The chip process also means a reduction in power consumption. Due to the energy consumption and size requirements of smartphones, whether low-power or even ultra-low-power design technologies and capabilities will determine whether products can be used in mobile devices. Advanced technology is an important means to reduce product power consumption and reduce size. Making high-end chips lighter and more power-efficient will help improve the average price and competitiveness of mobile phone manufacturers. On the other hand, the current advanced process capacity is relatively tight. At present, there are only three foundry companies with 14/16 nm production capacity in the world: Samsung, TSMC and Intel. The 10 nanometer capacity is only expected to be available in 2017. Grab the advanced production capacity, which will open the distance between the opponents. At the same time, this is also a good means of publicity.

According to the news released by various manufacturers, MediaTek Helio X30 processor chip will be mass-produced in the first quarter of 2017, using TSMC 10 nanometer technology; Qualcomm's Snapdragon 830 will be Samsung's 10 nanometer process; Samsung Electronics' Exynos In 8995, the 10 nm T process will also be used.

The next wave will be the 5G battle

Grab the next wave of 5G express trains, which is the layout of the mobile phone chip manufacturers on the future market. A few days ago, Qualcomm CEO Steve Morenkov released a 5G vision on the company blog, saying that 3G and 4G will connect people together, and 5G will connect all objects. Morenkov also said that Qualcomm will use the prototype system to participate in the Pre-5G test and contribute to 3GPP's 5G New Radio (NR) standardization. Meng Pu, chairman of Qualcomm China, said in an interview: "Qualcomm has accumulated years of experience in the wireless field, including OFDM technology. We have the ability to do prototype end-to-end system construction and testing, enabling it to When testing the next generation communication system, it has earlier implementation capabilities compared to other companies. Through these accumulations and the research and development that it has in the past, Qualcomm can quickly enter the development of 5G. In China, we are also the first to participate in China. One of the companies that move the 5G Joint Innovation Center."

Kang Yi, the global vice president of Spreadtrum Communications, said that the development of Spreadtrum 5G will change the way in which the terminal chips lag behind the standard launch, and keep the development of the chips in sync with the standards. In 2020, Spreadtrum will launch terminal chips that comply with the 5G standard. This time point will be synchronized with the time points of other international mobile phone chip manufacturers. Wang Peng, director of strategic communication cooperation of Spreadtrum Communications, said that the 5G standard is still being worked out, and everyone is doing research and development and verification of key technologies. Spreadtrum's strategy is to remain in the first camp. From the current international development situation, 5G is likely to carry out certain pre-commercialization in 2018.

The global smartphone chip market is becoming more and more competitive, and the trend of “oligarch competition” is very obvious. When the mobile phone chip manufacturers that can survive have hundreds of millions of shipments per year and have strong development strength, the market competition is different from the previous ones. If we say that during the period of "hegemony hegemony", the competition focus of manufacturers is more concentrated in the low-end market, and the collision between "oligarchs" continues to extend to the mid-to-high-end market. "Now mobile phone chip manufacturers generally begin to pay attention to the high-end market, only to seize the high-end market, it is possible to enjoy higher profits." Gartner research director Sheng Linghai said.

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