1.4 nm Node, 3x Extra Capability

Samsung outlined its foundry enterprise roadmap for the following 5 years at its Foundry Discussion board occasion final week. The corporate plans to introduce its subsequent era fabrication applied sciences in a well timed method and intends to make chips on its 1.4 nm (14 angstroms) manufacturing course of by 2027. Additionally, the corporate will preserve investing in new manufacturing capability going ahead because it strives to strengthen its place within the foundry market.

New Nodes Incoming

Samsung has been introducing new manufacturing nodes and/or variants on manufacturing nodes each 12 – 18 months for a number of years now, and plans to maintain its fairly aggressive tempo going ahead. Although the corporate’s roadmap illustrates, fanfare apart, that it’s now taking longer to develop new fabrication processes. The corporate’s second-generation 3 nm-class gate-all-around (3GAP) expertise is now set to reach someday in 2024. In the meantime, Samsung Foundry intends to be prepared with its 2 nm (20 angstroms) node in 2025, and with its 1.4 nm-branded fabrication course of in 2027.

“With the corporate’s success of bringing the newest [3 nm-class] course of expertise to mass manufacturing, Samsung shall be additional enhancing gate-all-around (GAA) primarily based expertise and plans to introduce the two nm course of in 2025 and 1.4 nm course of in 2027,” a press release by Samsung reads.

  Chip Fab Roadmaps

Information introduced throughout convention calls, occasions, press briefings and press releases
HVM Begin 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
Intel Course of Intel 3 Intel 20A Intel 18A ? ?
  FET FinFET RibbonFET + PowerVia ? ?
  EUV 0.33 NA EUV 0.55 Excessive-NA EUV
Samsung Course of 3GAE 3GAP 2.0 nm 1.4 nm
  FET GAAFET ? ? ?
  EUV 0.33 NA EUV ? ? ?
TSMC Course of N3E/N3P N3S/N3X N2 N2?  
  FET FinFET GAAFET GAAFET with bottom energy supply (?)
  EUV 0.33 NA EUV ? ? ?

Portray some very broad strokes, in comparison with these of Intel and TSMC, it looks like TSMC is a little bit bit extra conservative (which is one thing anticipated when you find yourself the world’s largest distinction maker of microelectronics). Whereas Intel is extra aggressive (which is once more anticipated given the corporate’s place out there of semiconductors). In the meantime, naming of fabrication processes lately is actually aspiratory, with little connection to their actual bodily measures. Which is why evaluating completely different semiconductor firms’ roadmaps is an imprecise metric at greatest.

Along with new ‘normal’ nodes, Samsung plans to broaden its course of expertise optimization applications for every particular software in addition to personalized providers for purchasers, the corporate mentioned.

In the meantime, one of many issues that Samsung notably did not point out in its press launch regarding its 1.4 nm node is utilization of Excessive-NA gear. Intel, for its half, plans to make use of Excessive-NA beginning its Intel 18A node (in 2024), the place it would finally be supplanting the EUV multi-patterning used on preliminary 18A manufacturing. 

In accordance with Samsung, the adoption of latest course of applied sciences and demand for brand spanking new fabrication processes shall be pushed by already identified mega traits — AI, autonomous automobiles, automotive purposes on the whole, HPC, 5G, and eventual 6G connectivity. Protecting in thoughts that Samsung is a big industrial conglomorate with many divisions, a lot of purposes that it intends to deal with with future course of nodes are its personal.

The corporate disclosed final week that its LSI Enterprise (chip improvement division) presently affords round 900 merchandise, which embody SoCs, picture sensors, modems, show driver IC (DDI), energy administration IC (PMIC), and safety options. Going ahead the corporate plans to place much more efforts into improvement of performance-demanding IP, together with CPU and GPU, by working nearer with its trade companions (which presumably consists of Arm and AMD).

Expanded Manufacturing Capability

Providing state-of-the-art manufacturing applied sciences is nice, however to provide these superior chips in enough portions to fulfill market calls for is equally vital. To that finish, Samsung introduced that the corporate will even proceed to take a position closely into constructing out extra manufacturing capability. Within the current years Samsung’s semiconductor capability CapEx was round $30 billion a yr and it doesn’t seem like the agency plans to place a cap on its spendings (although it’s noteworthy that it doesn’t disclose how a lot cash it intends to spend).

Samsung plans to broaden its manufacturing capability for its ‘superior’ course of applied sciences by greater than three-fold by 2027. Whereas the businesses will not be naming the nodes it considers “superior”, we might anticipate a big addition of its EUV capability within the subsequent 5 years – particularly as extra ASML EUV machines turn into out there. In the meantime, the corporate will undertake ‘Shell-First’ techniques in its growth and assemble buildings and clear rooms first, and add gear afterward relying on market circumstances.

Samsung’s new fab underneath development close to Taylor, Texas, shall be one of many firm’s principal automobiles so as to add capability within the coming years. The shell-first web site will begin to produce chips in 2024. And because the firm provides new instruments to the fab and construct new phases, manufacturing capability of the location will additional improve. 

Supply: Samsung