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Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 refresh may launch earlier this year to address throttling

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Reference Design Lifestyle
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

What you need to know

  • Qualcomm is rumored to have an early launch set for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus.
  • The chipset could be built by TSMC and launch in early May.
  • The change in manufacturer could be due to higher yields and result in better efficiency.

We've only just started to see some of the latest flagship Android phones launch with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, with more to come. However, the chipmaker is said to have its mid-year refresh already on the way, and it could launch a bit earlier this year.

The website OnSiteGo (opens in new tab) received word from tipster Yogesh Brar, who indicates that Qualcomm appears set to launch the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ in early May. This would be roughly one month earlier than the Snapdragon 888 Plus launch in 2021, which itself was introduced one month sooner than the previous Plus refresh in 2020. The reason? It may have to do with the thermal problems that have reportedly been plaguing devices running the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

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Owners of Samsung's latest flagships have complained about the devices becoming uncomfortably hot when put under stress. In my Galaxy S22 review, I note that the device becomes quite warm while gaming and my colleagues also point out thermal and performance issues in their respective S22 reviews.

Our Jerry Hildenbrand notes that the Galaxy S22 thermal problems could be the fault of either Samsung's heat management needing to be tweaked or just problems with the chipset itself running too hot. He says that either way, the phone is doing what it's supposed to and that it's not necessarily a dealbreaker, especially given how much more powerful the chipset is over its predecessor.

Still, it's possible that Qualcomm may want to address this quickly by pushing out the next chip sooner rather than later. Brar says that Qualcomm is likely tapping TSMC to produce the new chip as opposed to Samsung, which built the original chip. This is likely due to higher yields from TSMC's 4nm process, which reportedly results in better efficiency from the chip.

Brar expects Lenovo, Motorola, OnePlus, and Xiaomi to be among the first companies to feature the new chip, with phones launching as early as June. Given the timing, it would be interesting to see if this includes the rumored Motorola Razr 3.

Of course, take this with a grain of salt for now, but the rumor could hold some weight given that Qualcomm's 5G Summit takes place May 9-11. However, we will have to wait until then for any official announcement, which will likely include the next 700-series chipset as well.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.