In April, Qualcomm reportedly finalized the design of its upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 application processor (AP) which should be introduced in October. However, after seeing Apple’s upcoming M4 chip deliver record-setting single-core benchmark scores, the rumor mill says that Qualcomm has decided to redesign the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chipset by June, raising its targeted clock speed from 4GHz to 4.26GHz.

According to “X” subscriber @jasonwill101 (via Wccftech), Qualcomm’s decision to take on Apple’s high-end M-series and A-series silicon makes sense since the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will be manufactured by leading foundry TSMC using its second-generation (N3E) 3nm process node. That node will also be used by TSMC to build Apple’s M4 component and its A18 and A18 Pro chipsets that will be used to power the non-Pro and Pro variants of the iPhone 16 line respectively.

However, the design of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 AP will be based on the Snapdragon X Elite laptop processor which does not work with the ARMv9 instructions set. That means that Qualcomm’s new flagship smartphone chip won’t feature Scalable Matrix Extension (SME) which allows chips like Apple’s M4 to handle complex tasks more efficiently and is one of the reasons why the M4 scored amazing Geekbench 6 single-core and multi-core scores of 3,767 and 14,677 respectively.

It’s possible that Qualcomm, understanding that the lack of SME means that the performance of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 could be reduced, is hiking the clock speed of the chip to a targeted speed of 4.26GHz to try and make up for the performance reduction expected because of the lack of SME. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 also won’t be using ARM’s Cortex CPU cores and will turn to Qualcomm’s custom Phoenix cores instead.

While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 SoC is a smartphone chip and is competing with the A18 and A18 Pro rather than the M4, it is expected that Apple’s latest A-series smartphone chipsets, also being produced using TSMC’s second-gen N3E 3nm node, will deliver outstanding performance. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 4’s configuration includes 2 Big Phoenix CPU cores and 6 medium Phoenix CPU cores. Note the lack of any small, low-powered Phoenix CPU cores.

The chip’s build not only makes the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 AP potentially a top-performer on smartphones, but it also could be a potential battery hog. It also means that phone manufacturers employing the chip will need to take precautions when it comes to heat dissipation. Larger vapor chambers could be used to draw heat away from the processor.

We will certainly learn more this October when the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 is unveiled during October’s Snapdragon Summit. The AP is expected to be used on U.S. versions of the Samsung Galaxy S25 and Galaxy S25+. It also should power the Galaxy S25 Ultra in all markets.

Alan, an ardent smartphone enthusiast and a veteran writer at PhoneArena since 2009, has witnessed and chronicled the transformative years of mobile technology. Owning iconic phones from the original iPhone to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, he has seen smartphones evolve into a global phenomenon. Beyond smartphones, Alan has covered the emergence of tablets, smartwatches, and smart speakers.

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