The industry had expected the order to go to TSMC even though it was using a 16nm node process.
Samsung will built the FinFET technology using a 14nm process.
The move is a boot in the nadgers for TSMC which was confident that could ramp up output optimising its high yield rates on chip production, and therefore helping clients to reduce production costs.
Digitimes said that chip vendor Altera had previously chosen Intel to develop its 14nm FinFET products, but was forced to switch to TSMC due to lower yield rates at Intel.
MediaTek, a major rival of Qualcomm, has been working with TSMC in 28nm and 20nm processes and will continue to develop chips using TSMC’s 16nm FinFET Plus process.
However others see Qualcomm’s rumoured move as logical. The outfit hates putting all its eggs in one basket and works with multiple foundry houses on 28nm or more mature processes, including TSMC, Samsung, Globalfoundries, UMC and SMIC.