Samsung Elec initiates foundry production on 2nd-gen 10nm process

S3 foundry line in Hwaseong

S3 foundry line in Hwaseong

Samsung Electronics Co. has begun mass producing customized microchips using second-generation 10-nanometer (nm) process to meet the rising demand for high-performance processors for electronics devices and in line with its ambition to elevate its foundry rank.

The South Korean tech giant announced on Wednesday that it started mass production of system-on-chip (SoC) using the second-generation 10nm low power plus (LPP) process technology. The new process technology allows up to 10 percent higher performance or 15 percent lower power consumption compared to the first generation 10nm low power early (LPE) technology, according to the company.

Microchips designed with 10nm LPP process technology will be used in various electronic devices including the company’s new IT products scheduled to hit the market early next year. Market experts anticipate Qualcomm’s next-gen flagship chipset Snapdragon 845 and Samsung’s Exynos 9 series application processors will adopt the SoC products built on the new technology.

Samsung Electronics is in a heated competition with foundry market leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to produce chips with greater performance. Samsung was the first in the industry to begin mass production of chips based on 10nm process in October 2016 and completed developing 8 nm processing technology last month. TSMC produces chips at 10nm process technology and has announced that it will introduce the next-generation 7nm processing technology.

Nanometer technology is a synonym for chip generation. The smaller the number, the more transistors could fit on the SoC – microchip integrating required electronic circuits of various computer components – and make it more powerful.

“Samsung with its long-living 10nm process strategy will continue to work on the evolution of 10nm technology down to 8LPP to offer customers distinct competitive advantages for a wide range of applications,” said Ryan Lee, vice president of Foundry Marketing at Samsung Electronics.

On the same day, Samsung Electronics announced that its newest foundry S3 in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, is ready for mass production of process technologies including 10nm and below. S3 is its third fab following S1 in Giheung, Korea and S2 in Austin, the U.S. It will also mass produce 7nm process technology with EUV (Extreme Ultra Violet) at the S3 fab.

The company is also readying to build a new foundry in Hwaseong by investing 6 trillion won ($5.5 billion) to become the world’s second largest foundry player. It currently stands as the fourth with a share of 7.9 percent and wants to up its presence to cement its position as the world’s top semiconductor maker, a title it stole from Intel this year.

Samsung Electronics shares ended Wednesday at 2,630,000 won, down 34,000 won or 1.28 percent from the previous session.

By Hwang Hyung-gyu and Cho Jeehyun

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea &, All rights reserved]

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