Samsung Foundry: 3 nm with ATM will come in 2022, 2 nm will follow in 2025

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Samsung Foundry: 3 nm with ATM will come in 2022, 2 nm will follow in 2025

Image: Samsung

At the Samsung Foundry Forum, the manufacturer gave insights into its manufacturing roadmap. GAA, or Multi-Bridge-Channel FET (MBCFET) as Samsung calls it, is therefore on the home straight and should go into series production in the coming year. This is followed by a refresh the following year before tackling 2 nm.

3GAE and 3GAP on the home stretch

Recently, there have been more and more rumors that Samsung’s GAA process was running late. The manufacturer is now officially opposing this and is confirming the start of series production for customers in the first half of 2022. It is not known who is one of these, Samsung is often the first customer of a new production stage itself. This is 3GAE (3 nm Gate-All-Around Early), which recently disappeared from the roadmaps. Samsung indirectly confirms this by announcing the second generation 3GAP (3 nm Gate-All-Around Plus) for the year 2023 – as it became known months ago.

Samsung manufacturing roadmap Samsung roadmap for manufacturing (Image: Baidu)

Again, Samsung promises high performance gains or savings in energy consumption compared to the 5 nm process. The output can be 30 percent higher, alternatively 50 percent energy can be saved with the same output – and all of this with a further 35 percent less space requirement. The yield curve should slowly develop in a way that is suitable for mass production and should have reached the level of current 4 nm EUV production. Many Samsung chips are not manufactured in 4 nm, and it is also not known how good the yield there is.

2 nm with ATM from 2025

For the first time, Samsung has officially named the next level. A 2 nm process is under development and should be ready for use in the second half of 2025. Depending on how this is issued in early or plus versions – Samsung speaks directly today of 2GAP (2 nm Gate-All-Around Plus), and here, too, there is talk of a slightly different schedule, which is why it will be the year 2026 very quickly until customers other than Samsung can use this in products themselves. One or the other intermediate step could therefore also follow starting from 3 nm, just as Samsung recently introduced multiple 4 nm solutions to fill the gap.

17 nm process as an alternative to 28 nm

The 28 nm manufacturing process is one that is still used today. So far primarily used without FinFETs, Samsung wants to bring FinFET bonuses to this segment with a new 17 nm solution. Ultimately, it is a link between classic planar 28 nm chips and 14 nm FinFET solutions, trimmed for a good price-performance ratio. With this process, Samsung promises customers not only up to 43 percent space savings with the dies, but also up to 39 percent more power or, alternatively, 49 percent less energy consumption than with 28 nm.

Samsung 17 nm Samsung 17 nm (Image: Samsung)

The portfolio is rounded off by other special processes, such as 8 nm + RF, and a large-scale expansion of capacity, including the construction of a new factory in the USA, which is to be officially announced shortly. This should help Samsung to remain a foundry alternative to TSMC in the future.

  • Phase 2 for S5 factory for 3 nm ATM

    Phase 2 for S5 factory for 3 nm ATM (Image: Samsung)

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