Samsung reveals its battle plan for more powerful chips

Faced with a TSMC still as dominant on the market, Samsung Foundry wants to maintain its small technological lead. The firm is announcing this week a roadmap for the next five years… with the 1.4 nm process in sight.

Two Samsung employees during the presentation of the first wafers engraved in 3 nm GAA, last July // Source: Samsung Foundry

After taking a (slight) lead over TSMC by launching the production of 3 nm engraved chips this summer, Samsung Foundry announces a roadmap for the introduction of its future engraving processes. The firm thus plans to switch to 2 nm in 2025, before migrating to a node 1.4 nm by 2027. With this technological momentum, the division of the Korean giant hopes to grab market share at the expense of its Taiwanese competitor… and possibly bring back some fickle customers.

As PhoneArena recalls, TSMC alone still holds 52.9% market share, against “ only » 17.3% for Samsung Foundry according to the latest data from TrendForce. Far behind TSMC, Samsung Foundry therefore remains number 2 in the (relatively restricted) rank of the largest independent founders in the world. A gap that the firm intends to reduce over the next five years.

Where is TSMC in terms of fineness of engraving?

If TSMC’s roadmap does not yet see as far as Samsung’s, the Taiwanese semiconductor giant also plans to deliver its first 3 nm chips this year – or early 2023. For now, the firm is nevertheless concentrating the bulk of its peak production on the 5nm and 4nm processes (which is actually a derivative of the node5nm). Like Samsung, TSMC should also start producing 2 nm chips by 2025. We don’t know when the group will venture beyond this to gain even more finesse… and fit ever more transistors on chips. ever smaller.

This is the first time that the SEC (Samsung Electronics) has presented its long-term foundry roadmap and I believe it is more aggressive than TSMC’s and market expectations.“, for its part, commented an analyst from Daiwa Capital Markets, at the microphone of CNBC.

We also learn that Samsung Foundry plans to triple its production capacity for its most advanced chips by 2027. This would include the creation of new factories in the United States (in addition to the sites that Samsung already owns in Texas). ). In the short term, however, Samsung’s plans could come up against the global decline in demand for semiconductors. According to figures from theSemiconductor Industry Associationglobal chip sales fell 3.4% in August from July.

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