Qualcomm 7nm Snapdragon 8cx chip area estimation – comparable to Intel’s 14nm chip

A couple of days ago, Qualcomm not only released the new flagship Snapdragon 855 SoC but it also unexpectedly brought the PC platform, Snapdragon 8cx.  This is the first 7nm PC chip and it appears that  it will be comparable with the likes of Intel and AMD. It comes with a 7W thermal power design which is at par with the 15W Core of the i5 U series. For Snapdragon 855 and Snapdragon 8cx, Qualcomm declined to disclose the specific number of transistors and core area. However, an array of Snapdragon 8cx wafers was placed on its official website, and AnandTech was able to estimate

Die Size and Transistor Counts
AnandTech Process Node Die Size
Die Area
Tr Density
Snapdragon 8cx 7nm TSMC 8.3 x 13.5 112* > 5.3b
< 10.6b
> 56.4
< 94.6
Snapdragon 845/850 10LPP Samsung 94 5.3 b 56.4
Snapdragon 835 10LPE Samsung 72.3 3.0 b 41.5
Kirin 980 7nm TSMC 74.13 6.9 b 93.1
Kirin 970 10nm TSMC 9.75 x 9.92 96.72 5.5 b 56.9
Kirin 960 16nm TSMC 10.77 x 10.93 117.72 4.0 b 34.0
Apple A12 Bionic 7nm TSMC 9.89 x 8.42 83.27 6.9 b 82.9
Exynos 9810 10LPP Samsung 10.37 x 11.47 118.94 ? ?
8-core Ryzen 14nm GloFo 22.06 x 9.66 192 4.8 b 25.0
Skylake 4+2 14nm Intel 13.31 x 9.19 122 1.75 b 14.3
*Upper Bound


According to AnandTech, the 300mm diameter wafer has a total of 532 cores, up to 22 horizontally, and up to 36 vertical. After calculation, each chip area is about 112 square millimeters (13.5 x 8.3 mm). Compared with the 10nm process of the Snapdragon 845 and the Snapdragon 835, it is 19% and 55% larger respectively and it is 51% and 35% larger than the Kirin 980 and Apple A12 which uses the same 7nm process respectively. The Snapdragon 8cx has quickly caught up with the Intel 14nm Skylake chip (122 square millimeters), only 8%, but also reached AMD 14nm Ruilong SoC.

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As for the number of transistors in the Snapdragon 8cx, it is not really possible to know the exact number but it is definitely more than 5.3 billion but less than 10.6 billion, and the transistor density is not above 94.6 million per square millimeter. Although this is much lower than Kirin 980 and Apple A12, it is far beyond the 14nm process of Intel Core and AMD Ruilong.

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