You don’t get to be in Samsung’s shoes today without putting in some serious investments.
Hence, the Koreans have just announced that they will be spending about $1.9 billion to build a factory that will produce their 20nm and 14nm-based Exynos chips by next year. This marks a significant improvement from the 32nm-based processor of the Exynos Quad 4 processor, which is now powering the international version of Samsung Galaxy S3.
Samsung Electronics’ System LSI Business president Stephen Woo said that the construction of its new System LSI fabrication line is an important step to “responding to the demand of the global IT industry” and to support Samsung’s customers’ requirements.
The mouthwatering prospect of seeing 20nm and 14nm-based SoCs on mobile devices as early as next year will definitely be welcomed by those who long for that perfect mixture of ultra-high performance and power efficiency. We might as well start the rumor mills for Samsung Galaxy S4 now (just kidding).
To the best of our knowledge, none of Samsung’s biggest competitors are releasing anything close to Samsung’s ambitious plans — at least in the context of mobile processors. Qualcomm, for instance, will be focusing on releasing the quad-core S4 Krait processor, which is built on 28nm process, by the end of the year. It’s still unclear what Qualcomm’s plans are for 2013. NVIDIA, meanwhile, is still caught up in its effort to release an updated Tegra 3 processor with built-in LTE in Q3 2012 – and it may only start releasing 28nm-based processor in the following year.
We’re sure that SoC manufacturers will take note of Samsung’s plans and share with the rest of the world their updated roadmaps soon. The mobile chipset market is huge, and according to research firm Garnet, is expected to grow more than 20% between 2011 and 2016 to $59.4 billion.
Is it too early to start dreaming about Samsung Galaxy S4 and its potential specs?