Samsung Foundry is the second largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips in the world. While holding the Samsung Foundry Forum 2022 event, the company announced that it will continue its efforts to reduce the size, increase the speed and improve the efficiency of semiconductor chips. In this regard, the Korean company explained its plans to produce 2 and 1.4 nm chips.
However, first we will talk about Samsung’s 3nm chips. A few months ago, Samsung Foundry started the mass production of the world’s first 3nm chips (SF3E) with Gate-All-Around (GAA) technology. GAA is the product of a fundamental revision in the basic design of the transistor; A process that only happens every few years. According to Samsung, the use of this technology promises a significant improvement in energy efficiency. Samsung plans to unveil the second generation of 3nm semiconductor chips known as SF3 by 2024.
According to the announcement of the Korean company, the size of the transistors used in the second generation of 3 nm chips will be 20% smaller compared to the first generation 3 nm chips. This will lead to the production of smaller and more energy-efficient chips for smartphones, personal computers, cloud servers and wearable devices.
Using its SF3P+ process, Samsung plans to improve its 3nm chip manufacturing technology and begin mass production of its chips in 2025. This company has already proven its ability to mass produce chips with GAA architecture, and the second and third generation of GAA chips can attract the attention of some big customers. Over the past few years, Samsung has lost a large number of customers, including Apple, AMD, Nvidia and Qualcomm, and now these companies are mainly handing over their chip production orders to Taiwan’s TSMC.
Also, Samsung has announced its decision to start producing 2nm chips by 2025. At that time, the Korean company will use the back power supply technique to supply the energy needed by the chips. Powering the transistors and communicating between them is usually done from only one side of the semiconductor chip. With the new backside powering technology, communication and energy delivery will be done from 2 sides of the same chip. This will improve the overall performance of the chip. On the other hand, Intel plans to bring a similar feature called PowerVia to its chips by 2024.
Samsung Foundry will begin production of 2nm chips in 2025 and 1.4nm chips in 2027
In addition, Samsung Foundry has added a new 1.4nm process node called SF1.4 to its semiconductor production plans. The company aims to start mass production of 1.4nm chips by 2027. The Korean company has not yet provided any explanation regarding the possible developments of the 1.4 nm chips. However, the release of such chips clearly shows that Moore’s law is still alive; Although the speed of its progress will be slower compared to the past.
The second and third generation of Samsung’s 3nm GAA chips are equipped with smaller size transistors and better efficiency.
Samsung is also improving its 2.5D and 3D heterogeneous integrated packaging technology. Samsung’s X-Cube 3D packaging technique with micro-bump mid-connector will be available in 2024; While the 3D X-Cube technology without bump will be released in 2026. Also, Samsung plans to increase its chip production capacity by 3 times by 2027 compared to 2022.
Samsung is also focusing on the automotive and 5G and 6G communication markets
According to forecasts, Samsung is aiming for a 50 percent share of the chips needed by the automotive, high-performance computing (HPC), Internet of Things, and 5G device markets. The Korean company will use advanced 4nm processes to produce chips needed in the automotive industry and HPC devices. Currently, the company is producing 28nm eNVM chips for its automotive customers. However, Samsung plans to produce more advanced eNVM chips using the 14nm process by 2024, with 8nm samples in the more distant future.
Currently, Samsung is producing 8nm radio frequency (RF) chips for use in the telecommunications industry. Also, 5nm RF chips are under development and will probably be launched on the market soon. On the other hand, Samsung is planning to create isolation rooms in its semiconductor factories. The existence of these rooms facilitates the storage of the assembled chips and thus the company will be able to use them when the demand increases.