According to Digitimes, Qualcomm has contracted Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) to manufacture its previous-generation PWM ICs. SMIC uses 0.18- to 0.153-micron processes to manufacture PWM ICs at its 8-inch wafer fabs.
Qualcomm apparently wants TSMC's Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) process to make its new-generation PWM ICs, and have TSMC as its major foundry partner.
TSMC will start making Qualcomm's new-generation PWM ICs in small volume at the end of 2017, with mass shipments set to kick off in 2018, the sources said. TSMC will allocate more of its 8-inch fab capacity to fulfill Qualcomm's PWM IC orders.
This is a slap in the face for Qualcomm's old chum Chartered Semiconductor, which used to manufacture PWM ICs and Globalfoundries who took over Chartered. SMIC has a more aggressive pricing strategy and replaced Globalfoundries as Qualcomm's main foundry partner for the production of PWM ICs, Digitimes claimed.