Samsung, the world’s largest chipmaker, has announced that it will start mass production of its next-generation 3nm and 4nm chips in the second half of 2024. The company said that these new chips will offer significant improvements in performance, power efficiency, and design flexibility over its current 4nm and 5nm chips. Samsung also said that these chips will enable it to build new types of products for mobile and high-performance computing (HPC) applications.
Samsung’s upcoming 3nm-class (SF3) technology is based on the gate-all-around (GAA) transistor architecture, which uses nanosheets to form the channel of the transistor. Samsung claims that this technology allows for different nanosheet widths within the same cell type, which gives more design versatility and reduces the complexity of the circuit. Samsung also said that SF3 will offer a 22% increase in performance, a 34% reduction in power consumption, and a 21% reduction in logic area compared to its 4nm-class (SF4) technology, which is based on the FinFET transistor architecture.
Samsung’s 4nm-class (SF4) technology, on the other hand, is divided into two variants: SF4LPP and SF4X. SF4LPP is the low-power plus version of SF4, which is optimized for mobile applications. SF4X is the high-performance computing version of SF4, which is tailored for HPC applications such as CPUs and GPUs used in data centers. Samsung said that SF4X will deliver a 10% improvement in performance and a 23% reduction in power consumption compared to SF4LPP. Samsung achieved these enhancements by redesigning the source and drain regions of the transistor, applying advanced transistor-level design-technology co-optimization (T-DTCO), and implementing a new middle-of-line (MOL) architecture.
Samsung’s Market Outlook and Competition
Samsung said that it expects the market demand for its chips to grow in 2024, thanks to a rebound in mobile demand and continued growth in HPC demand. Samsung also said that it will strengthen its technology competitiveness by launching its 3nm and 4nm technologies in the second half of 2024. Samsung aims to challenge its rival TSMC, the world’s leading chip foundry, which is also developing its own 3nm and 4nm technologies. TSMC has said that it plans to start volume production of its 3nm technology in the second half of 2022, and that it expects its 4nm technology to enter risk production in the third quarter of 2021.
Samsung’s announcement of its 3nm and 4nm technologies comes at a time when the global chip industry is facing a severe shortage of supply, which has affected various sectors such as automotive, consumer electronics, and gaming. Samsung has said that it is investing heavily in expanding its production capacity and developing new technologies to meet the growing demand and overcome the challenges. Samsung has also said that it is collaborating with its customers and partners to optimize its chip design and manufacturing processes.