Samsung and Lee Jae-yong maintain focus on 3nm chipset development

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Last updated: January 2nd, 2020 at 16:11 UTC+02:00

Samsung Electronics is making advancements in 3nm semiconductor manufacturing technology, as leader Lee Jae-yong made his first on-site appearance of 2020 at the Hwaseong R&D center, South Korea. There, he discussed the company’s plans for commercializing future chipsets based on 3nm GAA technology, or more precisely, Samsung’s patented 3nm MBCFET process based on GAA.

A Samsung spokesperson cited by The Korea Herald made it even clearer that the company has no plans to slow down its progress, adding that ‘Lee’s visit to the semiconductor R&D center once again highlights Samsung’s pledge to grow as a top chipmaker in the non-memory field.’

Ironically, Samsung’s semiconductor manufacturing plant in Hwaseong, South Korea, hit a snag at the beginning of 2020 as a minute-long electricity blackout halted the production line and possibly caused millions of dollars in damage. Perhaps this is another reason why Lee Jae-yong chose the Hwaseong R&D center as his first location to visit in 2020, however, the report makes no mention of the recent hurdle.

When can we expect Samsung to commercialize 3nm chips?

There’s no concrete answer as to when Samsung will be able to mass-produce chipsets based on the 3nm MBCFET process, but it’s highly unlikely for this to happen by the end of 2020. Nevertheless, six months ago, Synopsys CEO revealed that his company’s EDA tools used by Samsung for the creation of 3nm chips should be ready for the undertaking of mass-production within two-to-three years.

Samsung has to take one final step before 3nm chipsets will be ready, and that is to mass-manufacture 5nm FinFET chipsets. The development of the 5nm FinFET process was concluded in April and mass production could begin in the first half of this year.

You can read more on Samsung’s 3nm manufacturing process, how it differs from 3nm GAA, how it compares to 7nm performance-wise, and other benefits it brings in our earlier coverage.

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