Samsung Electronics officially announced that it has started mass production of 3nm chips
July 1, 2022
Core Tip: On Thursday (June 30), Samsung Electronics announced that the company has begun mass production of 3-nanometer semiconductor chips, becoming the world's first company to mass-produce 3-nanometer chips. That will help it attract more new customers to catch up with larger rival TSMC in foundry chipmaking.
On Thursday (June 30), Samsung Electronics announced that the company has begun mass production of 3-nanometer semiconductor chips, becoming the world's first company to mass-produce 3-nanometer chips. That will help it attract more new customers to catch up with larger rival TSMC in foundry chipmaking.
Samsung said in a statement that the newly developed first-generation 3-nanometer process can reduce power consumption by 45 percent, improve performance by 23 percent, and reduce area by 16 percent compared to conventional 5-nanometer chips.
However, the South Korean company did not disclose the customers of its latest foundry technology, and analysts believe that Samsung itself and related Chinese companies are expected to be the first customers.
Earlier this year, Samsung co-CEO Kyung Kye-hyun said its foundry business would seek new customers in China as companies from automakers to home appliance makers rush to secure production capacity to address the global chip continuum. The problem of shortage, the company expects high growth in the Chinese market.
It is understood that TSMC is still the world's most advanced foundry chip manufacturer, controlling about 54% of the global chip foundry market, with major customers including Apple and Qualcomm. According to data provider TrendForce, Samsung Electronics ranked second with a market share of 16.3%, far ahead of its rivals. The company also announced a 171 trillion won ($132 billion) investment plan last year, hoping to surpass TSMC to become the world's largest logic chip maker by 2030.
"We will continue to actively innovate in competitive technology development," commented Siyoung Choi, head of Samsung's foundry business.
Although Samsung Electronics is the first company in the world to mass-produce 3-nanometer chips, according to TSMC's plan, the company will mass-produce 2-nanometer chips in 2025.
Analysts said that Samsung is the leader in the memory chip market, but in the more diversified foundry business, Samsung has been surpassed by leader TSMC, which makes it difficult for Samsung to compete with it.
Kim Yang-jae, an analyst at Daol Investment & Securities, said that compared with memory chips, the non-memory chip foundry business is different and there are too many types. Currently, there are only two types of memory chips -- DRAM and NAND flash, and Samsung can focus on that business, improving efficiency and mass-producing it, but the company can't do the same on a thousand different non-memory chips.
In addition, some analysts believe that in the past year or so, the lower-than-expected yield of the old chip business has also hindered Samsung's competition with TSMC. However, the company said in March that its operations had gradually improved.