For a while, in the tech world, we keep talking about the next generation of chips, those engraved in 3 nm. This new technique will make it possible to include more transistors in processors, which will boost the performance as well as the energy efficiency of electronic products. It will therefore bring significant improvements whether on the Android ecosystem, that of Apple, or even on other categories of products.
And the good news is that Samsung has just announced the start of production of chips engraved in 3 nm, using the Gate-All-Around (GAA) architecture. The Korean giant indicates that this technology will first be used for chips designed for a high-performance, low-power computer application. Nevertheless, the company already plans to offer 3 nm engraved chips for mobiles.
Chips engraved in 3 nm: what will be the improvements?
Compared to 5nm chips, Samsung’s first-generation 3nm chips will deliver up to 45% lower power consumption, 23% improved performance, and reduced in size by 16%. On the other hand, Samsung is already planning a second generation on which energy consumption will be reduced by 50%, performance improved by 30% and size reduced by 35%.
Samsung’s 3nm chip production is currently in Korea. Initially, these chips will come out of Hwaseong facilities. But an extension is already planned in those of Pyeongtaek.
“We will continue to actively innovate in the development of competitive technologies and build processes that help accelerate technology maturity”said Siyoung Choi, president and head of Samsung’s foundry business, as quoted by Bloomberg.
Competition is fierce between Samsung and TSMC, the market leader
By announcing the start of production of these 3 nm engraved chips, Samsung is ahead of its competitor TSMC, which is the market leader. Indeed, the production of the Taiwanese company will only begin this second half.
Still, if the announcement does good publicity for Samsung, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Charles Shum, it won’t affect TSMC’s growth or market share for the next 12 months. Indeed, Samsung would still have to prove that its production of 3 nm chips has a yield that can rival that of TSMC to convince customers.
Remember that among TSMC customers, who should benefit from 3 nm engraving, there is Apple. Indeed, the Taiwanese company has the exclusive production of chips for the iPhone, as well as for the Mac M1 and M2. Moreover, rumors are already circulating about future Apple products that will use N3 chips. According to these, as far as mobiles are concerned, the technology will arrive on the iPhone 15 series in 2023. As far as Macs are concerned, 3 nm engraving could arrive on future M2 Pro and M2 Max chips.
As for Samsung’s production, it will certainly benefit future Galaxy smartphones. However, the Korean giant will also try to find other markets, with companies like Qualcomm or Mediatek, as well as Google (which designs its Tensor chips for Pixels, but does not manufacture them).