On Sunday, Samsung announced that its next generation 14nm chip manufacturing process is now ready for mass production. The smaller, more energy efficient chips are expected to power a range of future Samsung products, and the technology is also likely to be used to produce chips for competing companies, such as Apple and Qualcomm.
Along with the announcement, Samsung also unveiled that the first chip to be produced using its 14nm FinFET technology will be an updated version of its 64-bit Exynos 7 Octa mobile SoC. Exact specifications for the chip haven’t been announced yet, but the new Exynos 7 Octa is expected to be Samsung’s chip of choice for its upcoming Galaxy S6. If true, this would be a big change for Samsung, as the company would drop Qualcomm as a major chip supplier for its flagship products.
14nm FinFET is said to provide up to 20 percent higher speeds and 35 percent less power consumption, when compared to the company’s existing 20nm technology. It’s the silicon “fin” construction technique that is essential in helping to slim down the size of these chips. The wrap-around gate structure reduces leakage current, allowing transistors to be squeezed even close together without issue.
The arrival of Samsung’s 14nm technology is expected to give the company a significant advantage over its competitors this year. Qualcomm’s upcoming high-end Snapdragon 810 SoC is to be produced on TSMC’s thinnest 20nm process. Its 16nm FinFET process unlikely to be ready for mass production until later in Q2 or early Q3 of 2015.