Samsung’s 3nm chip production plans facing delays due to COVID-19

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Last updated: April 7th, 2020 at 06:55 UTC+01:00

Samsung is one of the biggest chip manufacturing companies in the world, and it has been competing with rival TSMC for the past few years in gaining contracts from firms like AMD, Apple, Nvidia, and Qualcomm. After losing a huge client like Apple to TSMC in 2016, the company has been unsuccessfully trying to race ahead of its competitor in bringing newer fabrication technologies.

Earlier this year, the South Korean firm said that it could start the mass production of chips based on its 3nm technology by 2021, but those plans have reportedly been delayed. According to a new report from DigiTimes, Samsung is now forced to postpone the launch of its 3nm process node to 2022 due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The company reportedly couldn’t complete the scheduled installation of equipment that is necessary for its new production lines.

Both Samsung and TSMC are expected to start mass production of 3nm chips by 2022

Samsung plans to become the biggest silicon manufacturing firm in the world by 2030, and one of the major landmarks in its goal was to beat TSMC in the 3nm race. The company already fell behind TSMC in crossing the 5nm milestone, and it will be necessary for Samsung to reach the 3nm stage faster than TSMC.

The South Korean firm has been developing its 3nm process based on GAAFET (Gate All Around Field-Effect Transistor) technology. This new design, which uses gates all around the channel to reduce power leakage and to offer better control over the channel, is what enabled Samsung to make considerable progress in such a short time. To be precise, the company is using its patented MBCFET 3nm technology, which is based on GAAFET.

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has affected businesses and factories in South Korea and Taiwan. Now, both Samsung and TSMC are scheduled to start volume production of 3nm chips in 2022. It will be interesting to see which company reaches there first and attracts the most number of clients with their newer and more power-efficient chip manufacturing technologies.

Source Business 3nmSamsung Foundry
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