Samsung may have only recently rolled out its own 14nm chips in its new Galaxy S6 smartphone, but now the growing semiconductor company has revealed a few details about its plans to shrink processor manufacturing down to 10nm.
Samsung says that the processing node will be in full production by the end of 2016 and will offer “significant power, area and performance advantages” over existing nodes. No other specs, details, or product plans were given.
TSMC, the largest player in the industry, is also planning to have its own 10nm manufacturing ready late next year, and is likely keen to edge out any advantage it can gain after been beaten by Samsung to 16/14nm this year. Intel is also in the race to 10nm and is expected to be ahead of the rest in development, but has remained silent about its plans.
As well as producing smaller versions of its Exynos mobile SoC line-up, Samsung may also pick up large 14nm orders from other companies later this year. By beating TSMC to market this year, both Apple and Qualcomm are rumored to be turning to Samsung’s foundries for their new chips. Similar orders could carry over to 10nm too, so long as Samsung has the capacity to cater for multiple major device launches.
“Samsung made a big gamble on 14nm FinFet… they’ve closed the gap significantly with TSMC,” – International Business Strategies CEO Handel Jones
Just last month Samsung gave out further details about its 14nm roadmap. Samsung now has two fabs in South Korea, one in Austin Texas, and a Global Foundries fab in New York State up and running using its 14nm process. Although the company still hasn’t given out any numbers on yields, volumes or the number of designs planning to use the process.
The time spent on 14nm and 16nm nodes is expected to be relatively short, as foundries look set to move over to the cheaper, more efficient 10nm process so quickly.