Samsung, TSMC, and Intel Compete in the Race for 2nm Chips

Tech giants within the semiconductor division are striving to become the first to produce so-called 2 nm (nanometer) processor chips. The next generation of smartphones, data centers, and artificial intelligence (AI) systems will tend to power up with these chips. Experts among the industries anticipate that most likely TSMC will continue to rule the world in the semiconductor division. However, other prominent titans like Samsung Electronics and Intel see an opportunity to catch up with the next big development in this area.

If you look into it, for many years, semiconductor manufacturers have been working to create ever smaller devices. Rather than referring to a semiconductor’s actual physical size, words like “2 nanometer” and “3 nanometer” are now frequently used as shorthand for each successive generation of chips. Based upon the size of the transistor on the device, reduced energy usage and increased speed vary. A corporation with a technological advantage in the upcoming generation of sophisticated semiconductors would have a strong advantage over its competitors in an industry that generated sales of chips worth $500 billion globally last year.

Qualcomm Chooses TSMC over Samsung for Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 3nm N3E Production

Due to an increasing demand for the data center chips that underpin generative AI services, that is anticipated to expand even more. As per two sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations, TSMC, which controls the majority of the global processor industry, has already disclosed the process test findings for its N2 or 2 nanometer prototypes to several of its large clients, including Apple and Nvidia. And by the end of the year, Intel, the former leader in the industry, promises to start shifting its next generation of processors. While questions still surround the effectiveness of the US company’s products, that may put it back ahead of its Asian competitors.

Launching the mobile version first, TSMC usually targets Apple as its primary customer. The company has stated that the mass manufacturing of N2 chips will start in 2025. High-performance computer processors intended for larger power demands will follow, followed by versions for PCs. The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, which debuted in September of this year, are the newest flagship smartphones from Apple, and they are the first mass-market handsets to use innovative 3 nm semiconductor technology.

Samsung’s 3nm and 4nm Chip Processes on Track for Late 2024 Mass Production

The transition from one generation or node of process technology to the next becomes more difficult as chips become thinner, increasing the risk of a mistake that might cause TSMC to lose its dominant position. Experts emphasize that mass manufacturing will not be happening for another two years and that teething issues are a normal aspect of the chip-making process. Samsung led the way in both the introduction of mass manufacturing of its 3nm or SF3 chips and the adoption of the revolutionary “Gate-All-Around” (GAA) transistor design.

Two individuals with knowledge of the matter claim that US chipmaker Qualcomm intends to include Samsung’s SF2 chip into its upcoming high-end smartphone CPUs. The Korean company maintains that it has enhanced its yield rates to 3 nanometers. However, Samsung claims that the company’s simplest 3nm chip yield rate is just 60%, significantly below customer expectations and probably going to decline even more when creating more complicated devices, such as Nvidia’s GPUs or Apple’s A17 Pro.

Statements from experts:

The fact that Samsung’s chip design and smartphone divisions were direct rivals of the potential buyers of the logic chips made in its foundry business was another factor that hurt the company, says Lee Jong-hwan, a professor of system semiconductor engineering at Sangmyung University in Seoul.

Chip design companies can receive free test production from Intel, the company that used to lead the industry, while it is marketing its generation 18A node at technology conferences. It may become the first shipmaker to switch to the next generation when the US corporation announces that it will start producing 18A in late 2024.

However, the CEO of TSMC, CC Wei, doesn’t seem to have faced October; he stated that the Taiwanese company’s internal evaluation of its most recent 3 nanometer version.

“Samsung tries to do these quantum leaps,” said Dylan Patel, chief analyst at research firm SemiAnalysis. “They can claim all they want, but they still have not released a proper 3-nanometer chip.”

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Thanks to “Financial Times