Samsung-Synopsys 3nm mobile chip collaboration is ‘progressing perfectly’

The collaboration between Samsung Electronics and Synopsys continues to bear fruit as the 3nm mobile chipset manufacturing process is inching closer to reality. During a recent visit to South Korea, Synopsys CEO, Aart de Geus, reportedly revealed to the local press that “The 3nm process cooperation with Samsung Electronics is progressing perfectly.” His company’s electronic design automation (EDA) tools should be ready for the mass-production of Samsung’s 3nm chips within two-to-three years.

This isn’t necessarily a strong confirmation that Samsung will be ready to commercialize its first 3nm-based mobile chipset in the next two or three years, as “The timing and full-scale mass production […] depends on Samsung Electronics,” according to de Geus. However, it sounds like Synopsys has made progress in developing its EDA tools for the undertaking and Samsung Electronics shouldn’t experience any bottlenecks in this regard. The South Korean company unveiled its MBCFET 3nm process design kit a couple of months ago.

Interestingly, according to Aart de Geus, the shrinking of semiconductor manufacturing processes is still in effect under Moore’s law, as more sophisticated design processes are being developed. Moore’s law can be described as the observable phenomenon in which the number of transistors employed by integrated circuits doubles every two years. “Old Moore’s Law, which makes transistors in semiconductors cheaper, may have died” added de Geus, but “is alive in memory data processing capabilities.”

The CEO also believes that artificial intelligence will become a trend in the semiconductor business, and will give even small fabless companies the ways and means to challenge the market.

Looking much closer into the near future, Samsung’s first chipset based on the 7nm manufacturing process is expected to debut alongside the Galaxy Note 10 series. It will reportedly be known as the Exynos 9825, and at its core, it should technically be an Exynos 9820 built on a 7nm node.

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