Samsung outlined its foundry enterprise roadmap for the subsequent 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 maintain 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 slightly 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) know-how 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 most recent [3 nm-class] course of know-how to mass manufacturing, Samsung can be additional enhancing gate-all-around (GAA) based mostly know-how 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
Knowledge introduced throughout convention calls, occasions, press briefings and press releases
|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|
|EUV||0.33 NA EUV||?||?||?|
|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 available in the market of semiconductors). In the meantime, naming of fabrication processes nowadays 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 finest.
Along with new ‘normal’ nodes, Samsung plans to increase its course of know-how optimization applications for every particular software in addition to personalized companies for patrons, 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 tools. Intel, for its half, plans to make use of Excessive-NA beginning its Intel 18A node (in 2024), the place it’s going to finally be supplanting the EUV multi-patterning used on preliminary 18A manufacturing.
In response to Samsung, the adoption of recent course of applied sciences and demand for brand new fabrication processes can be pushed by already recognized mega tendencies — AI, autonomous autos, automotive functions 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 functions that it intends to deal with with future course of nodes are its personal.
The corporate disclosed final week that its LSI Enterprise (chip growth division) at the moment affords round 900 merchandise, which embrace 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 growth of performance-demanding IP, together with CPU and GPU, by working nearer with its trade companions (which presumably contains Arm and AMD).
Expanded Manufacturing Capability
Providing state-of-the-art manufacturing applied sciences is sweet, however to provide these superior chips in ample portions to fulfill market calls for is equally essential. To that finish, Samsung introduced that the corporate will even proceed to speculate closely into constructing out extra manufacturing capability. Within the latest years Samsung’s semiconductor capability CapEx was round $30 billion a yr and it doesn’t appear to be 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 increase its manufacturing capability for its ‘superior’ course of applied sciences by greater than three-fold by 2027. Whereas the businesses is just not naming the nodes it considers “superior”, we might count on a big addition of its EUV capability within the subsequent 5 years – particularly as extra ASML EUV machines turn into accessible. In the meantime, the corporate will undertake ‘Shell-First’ techniques in its growth and assemble buildings and clear rooms first, and add tools in a while relying on market circumstances.
Samsung’s new fab underneath development close to Taylor, Texas, can be one of many firm’s most important autos 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 positioning will additional improve.