Samsung plans 2nm chips by 2025, 1.4nm chips by 2027 • The Register

Samsung expects to have 2nm chips in mass production by 2025 and plans to deliver mass production using a 1.4nm process by 2027, aiming to “more than triple” the capacity of such advanced process nodes. to expand.

The plans were detailed by the Korean electronics giant at its annual Samsung Foundry Forum event in San Jose, California, where the company said it will continue to target high-performance and low-power semiconductor markets such as HPC, automotive, 5G and the Internet of Things Things (IoT).

Earlier this year, Samsung started mass production with its 3nm process technology and at the time claimed to have beaten rival TSMC. It will improve its gate-all-around transistor (GAA) architecture to deliver its 2nm process in 2025 and start production with a 1.4nm process by 2027.

TSMC is hot on its heels, however, and announced a few months ago that it plans to begin volume production of 3nm silicon using its N3 process in September. TSMC also anticipates that production of its N2 2nm process will begin in 2025.

Meanwhile, Samsung outlined how it would need to take steps to meet expected customer demands, including optimizing process technology for specific applications and customized services.

“The technology development target down to 1.4nm and specialized foundry platforms for each application as well as stable supply through consistent investments are all part of Samsung’s strategies to ensure customer trust and support their success,” said Dr. Si, President and Head of Foundry Business -Young Choi.

Of its optimization plans, Samsung said it will enhance its GAA-based 3nm process support for HPC and mobile devices while further diversifying its existing 4nm process, which specializes in HPC and automotive applications.

For automotive customers, Samsung is currently shipping embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM) solutions manufactured using 28nm technology. By 2024, the company plans to add 14nm eNVM solutions to the mix, with 8nm eNVM already in the pipeline for the future.

The electronics giant also said it intends to expand production capacity for the most advanced process nodes by adopting a “shell-first” strategy for investments. For this purpose, clean rooms are built first, independent of the market conditions, which then enable a quick and needs-based installation of production systems at a later point in time.

Samsung said that by 2027 it aims to expand production capacity by more than three times compared to this year, and it is hoped the new construction strategy will allow it to better respond to market demand.

The company’s senior vice president Moonsoo Kang told attendees that Samsung intends to triple its contract manufacturing revenue with its foundries within the same timeframe.

Samsung’s foundry production lines are currently located at five locations: Giheung, Hwaseong and Pyeongtaek in Korea, as well as one in Austin, Texas, and another under construction in the nearby city of Taylor.

Samsung’s plans come as the semiconductor industry faces a downturn and device makers are cutting orders in response to slowing consumer demand as the economic outlook worsens.

Richard Gordon, practice vice president of semiconductors and electronics at Gartner, told us that overall semiconductor market growth in 2022 will be in the low single digits, driven by a crash in memory prices (DRAM and NAND) driven by the weakening market demand for PCs and smartphones.

“We are already seeing declines in announced investments as semi-enterprises (particularly storage) look to scale back production. This will slow the addition of new fab capacity as vendors try to match it with a market recovery beginning in 2024 and accelerating in 2025,” Gordon said.

This recovery should coincide with Samsung’s launch of 2nm chips if the company is lucky enough to find the right timing. ® Samsung plans 2nm chips by 2025, 1.4nm chips by 2027 • The Register

Rick Schindler

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