Demand for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoC outpaces supply

Qualcomm confirms that demand for its wildly popular Snapdragon SoC has outpaced current supply levels.

28-nm Snapdragon chips powers a wide range of Android smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X and Sony Xperia SX.

Chris Green, principal technology analyst at Davies Murphy Group Europe, told the BBC the shortage was causing a slew of “knock-on problems” for manufacturers.

“It’s slowing down production rates for a lot of the current Android models and is leading to a number of companies having to delay or scale down production of next generation models,” said Green.

“The problem is that if companies can’t source enough of the chips they can’t ramp up production lines to the speeds necessary to make them cost-productive. One company that I know has been affected is Asus and its Padfone.”

Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm’s president and chief operating officer, said he expects the 28-nm capacity/demand gap to balance out by December 2013. 

“In the beginning of the [December] quarter we [will] still have a gap that we need to deal with, but it [will improve] throughout the quarter,” Mollenkopf told the EE Times. “We think it matches up toward the end.”

Meanwhile, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs pledged that his company would continue to advance RISC-based technology despite the above-mentioned Snapdragon shortage. 

“We’re driving it very rapidly on a number of areas. It used to be just the radio, but now it’s also processor and graphics technology… Do people for their own internal uses have enough scale to invest at the same rate we do? The answer is generally no.”