A Xiaomi executive says there is not enough capacity to make Snapdragon 780G phones. You may have to ‘settle’ with the 778G instead. The problem comes amid a wider chip shortage.
Have you noticed that few phones use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 780G chip, despite the company proposing it as the mainstream chip for 2021? Perhaps there is a good explanation. A Xiaomi executive on Weibo claimed that insufficient capacity led to a shortage of 780G devices and that the chips were reportedly out of production.
We have asked Qualcomm for comment.
The director did not elaborate on why the Snapdragon 780G was hard to find. However, it is also built using a 5 nanometer manufacturing process that remains cutting edge and thus highly sought after. Combine a global chip shortage with fierce competition for available 5nm delivery (Apple’s A14 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 are two prominent examples) and the 780G may be hard to justify.
Read more: Snapdragon System-on-Chip Guide
As you might have guessed, Qualcomm already seems to have a solution on their hands. The more recently announced Snapdragon 778G offers many of the features of the 780G while using a more conservative 6nm process. It’s not that powerful, but it comes close enough that phone vendors like Xiaomi, Motorola, and Oppo can use it without feeling like they’ve taken a significant step backwards. You may not even notice the difference in real-world applications.
The question, of course, is whether you will see many Snapdragon 780G phones in the future. That is a difficult question to answer. If manufacturing issues are the culprit, a solution may depend on whether 5nm delivery can improve quickly enough to justify designing and shipping 780G-based phones. Longer production issues can make it easier to ‘settle’ with the 778G, use a lower chip, or even skip a device altogether.