The Samsung 7nm chips are finally coming. Samsung announced today that it has started producing completed all process technology development and start wafer production of its 7LPP process node. The 7-nanometer LPP (Low Power Plus) chips are being produced using the highly complex extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology. Samsung is the first semiconductor manufacturer to use this chip manufacturing technique.
The EUV technology has been in development for decades but manufacturers have found it difficult to scale in factories. Samsung has been researching this technology since the early 2000s. It has only just now been able to start production based on this technology which goes to show its highly complex nature. This is a big achievement on Samsung’s part.
Samsung 7nm chips are coming
7nm chips are already in production and some companies have even shipped smartphones with these chips. They’re manufactured using conventional argon fluoride (ArF) immersion technologies which require expensive multi-patterning mask sets.
The EUV technology only requires a single mask to create a silicon wafer layer whereas ArF can require up to 4 to create that same layer. Samsung says its 7LPP process can reduce the total number of masks by almost 20 percent. This will result in cost savings for its customers and allow their products to come to market quicker.
The process technology improvements will also deliver better performance and lower power consumption in chips that are smaller. This means that mobile chips built on this technology will not only be faster but will aid battery life as well while taking up less space inside the device. Samsung says that its 7nm chips will deliver 20 percent performance gain and up to 50 percent lower power consumption.
Samsung has started initial EUV production at its S3 Fab in Hwaseong, Korea. It expects to add another EUV line by 2020. Customers of Samsung’s semiconductor division will now be able to have chips made on this process node. Samsung says that the technology will provide customers with the ability to push boundaries in artificial intelligence, 5G, Internet of Things, networking, etc.