Samsung is expected to announce mass production of 3 nm chips next week, according to Yonhap News. This means that the company will be ahead of TSMC, which is expected to start production of 3 nm chips in the second half of this year.
Compared to the 5 nm process (used in Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100), the 3 nm Samsung node will reduce the area by 35%, increase productivity by 30% and reduce power consumption by 50%.
This will be achieved through the transition to Gate-All-Around (GAA) transistor design. This is the next step after FinFET, as it allows to reduce the size of the transistors without compromising their ability to conduct current. GAAFET design used on the 3 nm node is shown in the figure below.
Last month, US President Joe Biden visited Samsung’s plant in Penthek to take part in a demonstration of Samsung’s 3nm technology. Last year, there was talk that the company could invest $10 billion in the construction of a 3-nm plant in Texas. These investments have grown to $17 billion. The plant is expected to start operating in 2024.
In any case, the biggest concern when creating a new node is the output. In October last year, Samsung said that the performance of the 3 nm process “is approaching a level similar to the 4 nm process.” Although the company has not provided official figures, analysts believe that Samsung’s 4 nm node was associated with production problems.
The 3 nm node of the second generation is expected in 2023, and the company’s roadmap also includes a 2 nm node based on MBCFET in 2025.
- Samsung is developing a 3 nm chip for Android flagships: Exynos 2300
- TSMC is preparing to launch 2 nm and 3 nm chips