May 16, 2020

Samsung replaces TSMC to manufacture Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 chips

Nell Walker
2 min
Samsung replaces TSMC to manufacture Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 chips
Samsung has confirmed that it will be manufacturing the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chips, replacing the 810 chips which suffered backlash due to claims...

Samsung has confirmed that it will be manufacturing the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chips, replacing the 810 chips which suffered backlash due to claims of overheating. The updated chip boasts double the performance, adding better battery life to the unit and offering superior graphics and gaming. It is expected to power most new Android phones, tablets, and computers during the first half of 2016 at least.

Samsung is likely to pocket at least $1 billion for this partnership, and continues to develop its 14nm Exynos chips, but Snapdragons are already appearing in Galaxy devices. Samsung is best known for its highly competitive range of smartphones, but its strength lies with chip production, and with companies like Apple consistently gaining more ground, Samsung is looking for other avenues of profit. Despite the rivalry, it has quietly been producing chips for Apple for years, and some Android users are surprised that it would use Snapdragon in new devices when Exynos is such a high-quality system.

This comes at a financially strategic time for both companies, with Samsung’s smartphone profits having flagged lately, and the Snapdragon 810 denting Qualcomm’s reputation. The fact that manufacture has been moved to Samsung suggests that TSMC, previous producer of the chips, was to blame for the overheating issue; either way, teaming up with the South Korean powerhouse will mean a fresh start.

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Jun 8, 2021

IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery

Elise Leise
3 min
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims that while markets are rising and manufacturing is coming back, it’ll push for global immunisation

After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022

Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery. 

Lingering Concerns Over COVID

Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high. 

Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery? 

IMF: Current Boom Could Falter

Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”. 

Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”. 

Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.

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