Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 chip will be powering some of the most anticipated Android devices of the next few months, including the HTC One S and AT&T's HTC One X, not to mention the ASUS Padfone and rumored devices from Sony. But in its recent Q2 earnings call, the chipmaker admitted that supply of the S4 chips may be unable to meet demand until the end of the year, meaning that device manufacturers may have to look elsewhere for alternative silicon. The lack of supply is likely due to difficulties with the 28nm manufacturing process used to build the S4 chips, which have been reported over the past couple of months.

Speaking in the earnings call, Qualcomm President and COO Steven Mollenkopf said the company was working with its customers (manufacturers) to swap-in alternative Qualcomm chipsets, though he admitted "we do expect to see some alternative non-Qualcomm chipsets being used to solve that issue as well."

While this probably won't impact S4 devices currently on the market, or about to go on sale, it may cause OEMs to think twice about using the chips in devices due to come to market later in the year, particularly where LTE connectivity isn't essential. In the mobile device space, Qualcomm faces competition from the likes of NVIDIA, Texas Instruments and Samsung, not to mention Intel later in the year.

via BBC News


Reader comments

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 demand to outstrip supply


Well if you could care less then you must have some interest in it, probably because we don't know what SoC is going to be in the SGSIII. For all you know it could be an S4.

I'm glad someone picked up on this. It drives me INSANE when people try to be smart by using comments such as 'Couldn't care less' and then say 'Could care less' instead.

Stupid stupid people.

On topic: I'm sure the S4 will be outdated by the end of the year anyway. The new Exynos might beat it into submission soon enough!

Beat it into submission?? LMAO!!!!!! you sir are clueless. First you will be disappointed when samsung announces they are coming with an upclocked 4412 SoC instead of the 5250 everyone is "hoping" for. And second.....the 4412 is not build on 28nm like the S4 so battery will still be better in the S4.

Drives me insane when people just copy what they read from another blog and don't actually UNDERSTAND the stupidity they are posting. S4 is on par with ANYTHING that will be released in 2012. Please try and understand that.

Shut up you idiot. What do you know? Nothing. Why? Because NOBODY knows anything about what the new one is going to bring to the table (except for Samsung themselves). Why don't you shut the hell up. I HATE samsung phones with a passion (except my Nexus obv.). So no, I'm not 'hoping' for anything you ignorant twat.

But will the new Exynos processor play nice with LTE ? Otherwise it still loses out in the US market to the Snapdragon and OMAP processors.

That is the penalty you pay for being awesome. You can't make enough chips fast enough. I just hope they don't grow too big (build more fabs) and then run out of orders because someone else like NVIDIA or Intel eats up their customer base because of the self-propagated reputation of delays in potential order fulfillment.

I guess if you're Qualcomm right now, you would have to evaluate how much of this growth would be sustainable and how much is flash in the pan that will dissipate when your competitors catch up.


And therein lies the problem. There are precious few 28nm fabs for contract work anywhere in the world, and they are all busy all the time.

Not a good thing for a company like this when there are alternatives. If the Tegra 3 was compatible with LTE I think they would be in a worse situation.

But the Tegra 3 is NOT Lte compatible,
Which might explain the demand for the S4,
If there were current alternatives,
S4 would not have demand greater than supply.

One thing Qualcomm has going for them is integrated LTE on the chip. As long as other manufacturers don't do that, then Qualcomm chips will get better battery life