Samsung Electronics Commences 3nm Chip Production with GAA Architecture

UTC by Benjamin Godfrey · 3 min read
Samsung Electronics Commences 3nm Chip Production with GAA Architecture
Photo: Samsung

South Korean multinational electronics corporation, Samsung Electronics has announced it has started the production of its 3nm Chip, a more advanced chip that uses the Gate-All-Around (GAA) transistor architecture.

The South Korean tech giant said its proprietary GAA tech, the Multi-Bridge-Channel FET (MBCFET™) was deployed in the manufacture of the 3nm chipsets. The company said this new technology “defies the performance limitations of FinFET, improving power efficiency by reducing the supply voltage level, while also enhancing performance by increasing drive current capability.”

“Samsung has grown rapidly as we continue to demonstrate leadership in applying next-generation technologies to manufacturing, such as foundry industry’s first High-K Metal Gate, FinFET, as well as EUV. We seek to continue this leadership with the world’s first 3nm process with the MBCFET™,” said Dr. Siyoung Choi, President and Head of Foundry Business at Samsung Electronics. “We will continue active innovation in competitive technology development and build processes that help expedite achieving maturity of technology.”

Though starting with low computing applications, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX: 005930) said its ultimate plan is to extend the new technology into mobile processors.

As explained by Samsung Electronics, the proprietary technology utilizes nanosheets with wider channels, which allow higher performance and greater energy efficiency compared to GAA technologies using nanowires with narrower channels. With this new technology, the company said the 3nm chips can reduce power consumption by up to 45%, improve performance by 23% and reduce the area by 16% compared to 5nm.

The move by Samsung Electronics to improve its chip design and production is hinged on the need to bridge the gap in the shortage of semiconductors globally. The advent of the coronavirus pandemic has caused a massive dearth in chip supplies due to a strain on the global supply chain. With this enhanced chip production, the company can extend its lead as one of the world’s biggest chip manufacturers.

Samsung Electronics and Its Focused Interests in Chip Production

The company has a highly defined focus to boost its chip production over the next decade. The company announced last year that it plans to inject as much as 171 trillion KRW ($132 billion) into its logic chip and foundry business by 2030.

The commencement of its 3nm chip production is one of the most targeted moves in this regard and the firm has plans to establish a new factory in Texas for chip production, a facility that is estimated would cost $17 billion.

The 3nm chips are on track to be produced at its Hwaseong semiconductor production lines and its third chip plant in Pyeongtaek, the world’s largest semiconductor facility. In his visit to South Korea back in May, US President Joe Biden visited the company’s Pyeongtaek chip plant. The visit was a broader effort by the Biden administration to strengthen semiconductor alliances.

The company said its 3nm chip design came with extensive preparation with Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem (SAFE™) partners including Ansys, Cadence, Siemens, and Synopsys, and will help customers perfect their product in a reduced period of time.

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