Samsung Foundry to Begin Mass Production of 4nm Chips
Samsung Foundry, the second-largest foundry in the world after TSMC, is set to begin mass production of chips using its third-generation 4nm process node. This comes after the company had yield issues with its 4nm chip production last year, resulting in Qualcomm moving production of its Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 to TSMC. However, Samsung has seen improvements in its yield rates, which have risen from 35% at one point last year to 60% now, as well as boosts in performance and energy-efficiency.
While 3nm is the most advanced node available, Samsung’s 4nm and 5nm processes are currently being used more frequently, accounting for 22% of chips produced during the third quarter of last year compared to 16% manufactured using 6nm and 7nm process nodes. The only phones expected to be powered by 3nm silicon this year are the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra.
Google’s Pixel 8 Series Likely to be Powered by 4nm Process Node
Google’s Pixel 8 series, set to be released in the fourth quarter of this year, is likely to be powered by the third-generation 4nm process node, with the Google Tensor 3 chipset for the new handsets expected to be produced using this technology. The Pixel Fold, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel 7a are expected to be powered by the Tensor 2, which is built on Samsung’s second-generation 4nm node.
Future Plans for Samsung Foundry and TSMC
Both TSMC and Samsung plan to produce 4nm chips in the United States starting next year, with TSMC’s fab in Phoenix, Arizona and Samsung Foundry’s facility in Taylor, Texas adding a 4nm production line. TSMC hopes to start shipping 2nm chips to customers in 2026, while Samsung plans to begin 2nm production in 2025, followed by 1.4nm production in 2027. Intel has also stated that it plans to match TSMC and Samsung Foundry in 2024 and regain process leadership the following year.
Samsung Foundry’s third-generation 4nm process node is set to begin mass production, with Google’s Pixel 8 series expected to be powered by this technology. Samsung and TSMC plan to produce 4nm chips in the United States starting next year, with TSMC’s fab in Phoenix, Arizona and Samsung Foundry’s facility in Taylor, Texas adding a 4nm production line. The competition between these companies is heating up, with Intel planning to match TSMC and Samsung Foundry in 2024 and regain process leadership the following year.
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