According to a report from Yonhap News, Samsung is gearing up for the production of its 3nm chips which may start as early as next week. This will give the manufacturer a big headstart compared to TSMC’s 3nm production which may begin anytime during the second half of this year.
Samsung’s 3nm chip is said to bring a 35% decrease in area, 30% better performance/ 50% lower power consumption compared to the 5nm node (Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100). These will all be made possible by the manufacturer switching to a Gate-All-Around (GAA) design for transistors.
This design is the next step above the FinFET design as it enables foundries to downscale the size of the transistor more than what is currently possible. The GAAFET design that will be used is the MBCFET variant shown in the image above.
President Joe Biden of the U.S. did an ocular inspection of the Samsung plant at Pyeongtaek last month to witness a showcase of the manufacturer’s 3nm technology.
This is in line with the Korean company’s plan to invest USD 10 billion, which is now USD 17 billion, to set up a 3nm foundry in Texas that is expected to go online by 2024.
However, the underlying issue regarding the production of the said chipsets is their yield. The company said last year in October that the yield of its 3nm process is nearing the same level as its 4nm process.
These statements were not backed by official data though, but analysts think that Samsung’s 4nm’s node yield issue was significant. On the other hand, a second-generation 3nm chip is expected to come next year alongside an MBCFET-based 2nm node in 2025 according to the manufacturer’s road map.