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Samsung strongly refutes rumors of defects in its 3nm chips

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Last updated: June 26th, 2024 at 15:41 UTC+02:00

Samsung is the world's biggest semiconductor chip firm but ranks second in the contract chipmaking segment. A few days ago, a report claimed that Samsung Foundry is having trouble producing 3nm chips. However, Samsung has refuted those rumors, claiming that all those rumors are groundless.

Samsung denies it is having trouble in manufacturing 3nm chips

Recently, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Samsung is having yield-related issues with the fabrication of 3nm chips. They claimed that these issues could force Samsung MX to go all-out with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 for the Galaxy S25 series. However, Samsung has strongly refuted those reports, calling them “groundless.

A report claimed that a defect in Samsung Foundry's second-generation 3nm process node had affected 2,500 lots (65,000 monthly 12-inch wafers), leading to a loss of around KRW 1 trillion ($720 million). It was also reported that all those wafers had to be discarded due to defects. However, some reports claim the “discarding all of them” part is incorrect, and the actual status is still under the evaluation phase.

Samsung's current capacity for the second-generation 3nm chip fabrication process is 60,000 sheets per month. Additionally, the South Korean firm has set up several inspection processes throughout production, so it is unlikely that such a large-scale defect will occur.

The story continues after the video below.

Samsung reportedly planned to dual-source application processors (or system-on-chip) for the Galaxy S25 series. So, phones sold in some regions will use Samsung's own Exynos 2500 (tentative name) chip fabricated by Samsung Foundry. Phones in other regions will use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 processor fabricated by market leader TSMC. Both chips are reportedly made using a 3nm process.

The South Korean firm usually uses the same dual-source strategy, but for the Galaxy S23, the company had to use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip exclusively due to yield and performance issues in Exynos chips fabricated by Samsung Foundry. Whether Samsung will face a similar issue this year remains to be seen.

Samsung is also expected to use the 3nm Exynos W1000 chip in the Galaxy Watch 7 series. This chip is also fabricated on Samsung Foundry's 3nm process node. According to recent reports and leaks, it is a 5-core chip that is almost confirmed to be used in the Galaxy Watch 7 and the Galaxy Watch Ultra.

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