Samsung begins production of advanced 3nm chips

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 30 2022 03:44 PM

South Korean family visits at the Samsung Electronics headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, 07 April 2022. Samsung Electronics Co. announced on 07 April its earnings guidance at 14.1 trillion won (US$11.5 billion) for the first three months of the year, up 50.3 percent from a year ago. Jeon Heon Kyun, EPA-EFE
South Korean family visits at the Samsung Electronics headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, 07 April 2022. Samsung Electronics Co. announced on 07 April its earnings guidance at 14.1 trillion won (US$11.5 billion) for the first three months of the year, up 50.3 percent from a year ago. Jeon Heon Kyun, EPA-EFE

SEOUL - Samsung Electronics became the first chipmaker in the world to mass produce advanced 3-nanometer microchips, the company said Thursday, as it seeks to catch up with Taiwan's TSMC.

The new chips will be smaller, more powerful and efficient, and will be used in high-performance computing applications before being put into gadgets such as mobile phones.

"Compared to 5nm process, the first-generation 3nm process can reduce power consumption by up to 45 percent, improve performance by 23 percent and reduce area by 16 percent," Samsung said in a statement.

The South Korean conglomerate last month announced a five-year plan to invest 450 trillion won (US$356 billion), saying it would "bring forward the mass production of chips based on the 3-nanometer process".

The vast majority of the world's most advanced microchips are made by just two companies -- Samsung and Taiwan's TSMC -- both of which are running at full capacity to alleviate a global shortage.

Samsung is the market leader in memory chips but it has been scrambling to catch up with TSMC in the advanced foundry business.

TSMC dominates more than half of the global foundry market, with clients including Apple and Qualcomm, while Samsung trails with around 16 percent market share, according to TrendForce.

TSMC plans to begin volume production of 3-nanometre technology in the second half of this year, and entered the development stage of 2-nanometre technology last year, according to the company's 2021 annual report.

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