Samsung Electronics unveils plans for 1.4nm process technology and investment for production capacity

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Samsung Electronics unveiled a revamped business plan for its Foundry Business with the launch of cutting-edge technology at its annual Samsung Foundry Forum event.

In a statement, Samsung said demand for advanced semiconductors has significantly increased due to the market growth in high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI), 5/6G connectivity, and automotive applications. As a result, Samsung said semiconductor process technology innovation is crucial for foundry customers’ commercial success. 

To achieve this, Samsung emphasised its dedication to making its most cutting-edge process technology, 1.4-nanometer (nm), available for mass manufacturing in 2027.

In addition to outlining the steps its Foundry Business is taking to meet customer needs, Samsung also provided an overview of the event. These steps included: foundry process technology innovation, process technology optimisation for each specific application, stable production capabilities, and customer-specific services.

Samsung Electronics Foundry Business President and Head Dr Si-young Choi said Samsung’s efforts to win over clients’ trust and promote their success include the technical development goal of 1.4nm, foundry platforms tailored for each application, and dependable supply through persistent investment.

“Realizing every customer’s innovations with our partners has been at the core of our foundry service,” Dr Choi stated.

Samsung will further develop gate-all-around (GAA) based technology and plans to introduce the 2nm process in 2025 and the 1.4nm process in 2027 due to the company’s achievement in delivering the most recent 3nm process technology to mass production.

According to Samsung, it’s leading the way in process technologies while also advancing 2.5D/3D heterogeneous integration packaging technology to offer a complete system solution for foundry services.

Its 3D packaging X-Cube with micro-bump connections will be ready for mass production in 2024, and bump-less X-Cube will be offered in 2026, thanks to ongoing research.

Samsung intends to vigorously pursue markets for high-performance and low-power semiconductors such as HPC, automotive, 5G, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

During this year’s Foundry Forum, customised and personalised process nodes were introduced to better fulfil clients’ needs. Samsung will expand its GAA-based 3nm process support for HPC and mobile applications while broadening its 4nm technology for HPC and automotive applications.

Samsung now offers automotive clients embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM) solutions based on 28nm technology. To enable automotive-grade reliability, the business intends to deliver 14nm eNVM solutions in 2024, followed by 8nm eNVM in the future. Following 14nm RF, Samsung has begun mass production of 8nm RF, while 5nm RF is currently developing.

In comparison to this year, Samsung intends to triple its advanced node production capacity by 2027.

Samsung presently has foundry production lines in five locations: Giheung, Hwaseong, and Pyeongtaek in Korea; Austin and Taylor in the United States; and the new fab being built in Taylor, Texas.

Samsung explained its ‘Shell-First’ capacity investment approach, which prioritises the construction of cleanrooms regardless of market conditions. Since cleanrooms are easily accessible, fabrication equipment can be installed later and configured flexibly in response to demand. Samsung said it could better satisfy customer needs thanks to the new investment plan.

Plans for an additional “Shell-First” manufacturing line in Taylor, which would follow the first line announced last year, and a prospective expansion of Samsung’s global semiconductor production network were also disclosed.

Samsung will also host the “SAFE Forum” (Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem). Incorporating topics like Electronic Design Automation (EDA), IP, Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSAT), Design Solution Partner (DSP), and the Cloud, new foundry technologies and strategies with ecosystem partners will be unveiled.

Along with presentations from 70 partners, team leaders from the Samsung Design Platform will outline the potential for using Samsung’s procedures like 2.5D/3DIC and Design Technology Co-Optimization for GAA.

In addition to working with 56 partners to deliver more than 4,000 IPs as of 2022, Samsung is also collaborating with nine and 22 partners for design solutions and EDA, respectively. Additionally, it provides packaging services with 10 partners and cloud services with 9 partners.

Samsung also offers integrated services that enable solutions ranging from IC design to 2.5D/3D packages, along with its ecosystem partners.

Samsung intends to find new fabless customers through its strong SAFE ecosystem by enhancing customised services with better performance, quick turnaround, and price competitiveness while actively luring new clients like hyperscalers and start-ups.


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