Something to look forward to: Qualcomm's next generation of 7nm system-on-chips intended for pairing with 5G modems will be ready later this year. Improved efficiency and enhanced AI processing will help bring better battery life.
As 5G networking is steadily working its way towards mainstream adoption, Qualcomm Technologies has announced that its next mobile platform targeting flagship devices will be built on a 7nm process node.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modem will pair with what is presumably going to be the Snapdragon 855 SoC. Multiple OEMs are now sampling chips intended for the next generation of high-end smartphones.
Christiano Amon, president of Qualcomm, says that they, "are on track to help launch the first 5G mobile hotspots by the end of 2018, and smartphones using our next-generation mobile platform in the first half of 2019."
Based on this timeline provided, it is possible that flagships launched during the second quarter of 2019 will include 5G modems. Unfortunately, Samsung's Galaxy S10 will not be one of them. However, there should be plenty of time for Google to implement 5G support on the Pixel 4. Apple shows intentions of using a combination of Intel chips and custom parts instead of Qualcomm's solutions.
The only major mystery is who is going to actually produce 5G chips for Qualcomm. Samsung's foundries have been used in the past, but TSMC may be the next manufacturer used. It is believed that TSMC may be several months ahead of Samsung on their 7nm process.
Some of the features Qualcomm is working on will allow for more battery-efficient artificial intelligence algorithms to be run on mobile devices. Voice assistants and adaptive settings based on phone use may benefit from AI with reduced power consumption.
Full specifications and preliminary performance details are slated for announcement during the fourth quarter of 2018.