Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S8 smartphone is displayed during a media event in Seoul, South Korea, April 13, 2017. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

Samsung unveiled plans for creating more power-efficient processors, which would pack in more transistors than current processors in the same surface area and therefore be more power-efficient and provide better performance. The company currently makes 10nm processors with Qualcomm using its FinFET technology.

But, in the future, it will develop 8nm, 7nm, 6nm, 5nm and 4nm processor technology, the company revealed in its processor technology roadmap at the recent Samsung Foundry Forum, held last week in South Korea.

“The ubiquitous nature of smart, connected machines and everyday consumer devices signals the beginning of the next industrial revolution,” said Jong Shik Yoon, executive vice president, Foundry business, Samsung Electronics. “To successfully compete in today’s fast-paced business environment, our customers need a foundry partner with a comprehensive roadmap at the advanced process nodes to achieve their business goals and objectives.”

Read: Samsung Galaxy S8, Note 8 And iPhone 8's 10nm Processor Technology Explained

Samsung’s 2017 flagship, the Galaxy S8 smartphone runs on a 10nm FinFET technology based Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. Compared to other existing processors, which have 14nm processor architecture, this offers better performance efficiency — it can support heavy performance based tasks such as high-end games as well as provide a better battery life.

But the company is gradually moving towards its goal of making 4nm processors, which would be extremely power-efficient in comparison to current processors. While Samsung is yet to give any indication of this, there are chances if the roadmap remains on track, Samsung might feature the processors in its 2018 flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Here are some important features that will mark the evolution of current processors to eventual 4nm processors:

  • Samsung’s focus when switching from 10nm processors to 8nm processors will be performance i.e. 8nm processors can be expected to be more powerful than 10nm processors. This entails the company’s upcoming smartphones will be able to perform high-intensity tasks, such as 4K video imaging better.
  • 7nm and 6nm processors will be more focused on battery utilization. The company’s upcoming devices might have a better battery or even smaller batteries since battery usage will be much lesser than on current devices. Particularly with 6nm processors, Samsung is expected to develop a much better Ultra Low Battery Mode. The Ultra Low Battery Mode on its current devices currently switches off all services except call connectivity and messages, effectively turning the smartphone into a feature phone, so the user can just do essential tasks when running out of power. With the coming of 6nm processors, this mode is expected to get better and maybe even allow other services, some of which might run on mobile data to run in this mode, providing users with the freedom to perform more tasks even if they are running out of battery.
  • 5nm processors will be focused on the size of the processors — the processor size might be scaled down although it will provide more performance-efficiency than previous gen-processors.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S8 Snapdragon 835 Chipset Might Be More Powerful Than Apple iPhone 7 A10 Processor?

4nm processors will mark Samsung’s move from FinFET technology to MBCFET technology, which will mark a change in the way processors are designed — the scaling down starting from 10nm to 4nm will let Samsung make essential design changes, which might lead to much higher power and performance efficiency than current processors.

  • The company is also developing processors for Internet-of-Things (IoT) based smart devices.