Samsung’s Expected & Awaited Announcement For 3nm Chips Due This Week


In a recent development, Samsung may announce the start of mass production of its pilot project of what may be the world’s first 3nm chip next week this June.

Samsung also announced in April this year that it will work on 2 nm by 2025. Before this, Samsung also informed in April that it would start to work on the 3nm chips 3GAE (3 nm-class gate-all-around early) fabrication process, starting in mid-2022.

During the 10 days US president’s visit to S.Korea in Samsung’s electronic plant on May 20, it’s believed that Samsung presented the world’s first GAA-based 3-nano chip prototype.

Samsung will imply an advanced GAAFET (gate-all-around field-effect transistor) architecture compared to its archrival TSMC’s FinFET (fin field-effect transistor) for the fabrication method. 

This, when completed, would enable a 30% performance increase, a 50% power consumption reduction, and up to 80% higher transistor density, according to Samsung.

If this goes according to plans, then Samsung will become the first manufacturer of semiconductors to start using gate-all-around field-effect transistor (GAAFET) architecture with its upcoming 3 nm fabrication process. 

“We are scheduled to begin mass production in the first half,” said an unnamed official from Samsung Electronics.

However, amid this, rumours are floating that Samsung Electronics could halt the process because of expected earnings generated over a particular period and production problems regarding raw materials availability, i.e. yield issues due to the current ongoing war and semiconductor production crisis due to the pandemic. 

It is also important to note that Samsung already left the LCD panel manufacturing business and cut the smartphone production by 10% early this year.

Many patrons left Samsung because of these problems early this year in the micro-processing foundry. However, insider sources suggest that Samsung Electronics has already secured clients for the 3-nm applications. 

The Plan:

Samsung has already devised a roadmap for its investment in texas for the foundry factory. A $17 billion Texas microprocessing chip plant. Also to note, recently, Samsung announced a $356 billion investment pledge for the chip, bio, and IT sector over the next five years, of which 80 per cent will go to facility and R&D investment. This seems to impact the tech industry’s future. 

Targeting to produce at a mass level with wide reach, Samsung has both capabilities and will, to make a market out of this, as we have seen before in many criteria.

The recent CXL-based memory development by Samsung and collaborations with IBM, Intel, Montage Technology, AMD & others has already paved the way for Samsung in this regard.

To achieve this, Samsung Electronics has planned for the construction of its $17 billion foundry plant in Taylor, Texas. The 5 million square meter plant will begin operations in the second half of 2024 to produce advanced system chips.

The Process Of Chip manufacturing:

The chipmaking tech is extremely difficult as to put a complex process that requires precision, clean environments, expensive factory equipment, and time. It takes GlobalFoundries three months on average to engrave and transform mirror-smooth silicon wafers into layered semiconductors and not to mention the lower the nm(nanometer) more difficult it becomes to fit the no. of transistors in a wafer-thin silicon layer.

So, a lower nm transistor means less power is required for it to work. Lower power consumption makes a huge difference overall when you look at all the transistors in a CPU. It makes your processor more power-efficient than a higher nm processor with larger transistors.

Current State Of Samsung :

According to Taiwanese market researcher TrendForce, Samsung has made $5.3 billion in foundry revenue in Q1 March, which is less than 3.9 per cent from the previous three months, while market share plummeted from 18.3 per cent to 16.3 per cent in this time.

Furthermore, this year, the Samsung group ranked 22nd from 15th to last year, dropping it down 7 steps on the global market cap compared to last year’s position with a market value of $342 billion as of March. 

Freshly this week, shares of Samsung Electronics were 0.9 per cent lower at 58,000 won by midday Wednesday.

Conclusion: 

Although things don’t seem to go well for the Korean conglomerate, its technological advancement has given it an edge, and the current will it is showing to secure the leading position, to only rivals in this business, namely USA’s Intel & Taiwanese TSMC. However, it seems that Samsung could delay this process until the latter end of this year, predictably in Q3 2022.

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