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Qualcomm diversifies X60 supply with Samsung deal

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Samsung scored a key win as Qualcomm awarded it a contract to produce its newly-announced Snapdragon X60 5G modem alongside Taiwan-headquartered TSMC, Reuters reported, a deal which shows the South Korean company is gaining traction beyond memory chips.

The companies were apparently selected due to their advanced manufacturing capabilities, with Qualcomm’s latest modem requiring a 5nm production process.

Samsung is the second-largest chip maker in the world, but its semiconductor business is highly reliant on memory chips, leaving it exposed to fluctuations in demand.

In Q4 2019, memory chip revenue declined 15 per cent year-on-year, contributing to a broader decline in net profit. Samsung predicted weakness in the memory sector would continue in the current quarter “due to low seasonality”.

Samsung previously set out plans to invest KRW133 trillion ($111.8 billion) in chip businesses in a bid to position itself as a leader in the memory and logic sectors by 2030.

Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon X60 on 18 February, targeting sample shipments in the coming weeks and tipping the first smartphones using the modem to launch in early 2021.

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