South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. said on Wednesday that it has completed the development of 8-nanometer foundry low power plus (LPP) process technology and is ready for production, a move that will allow the world’s largest memory chipmaker to expand its presence in the rapidly growing foundry market.
According to the company, the latest process involves cutting-edge technology that has reduced circuit width compared to the current second-generation 10nm process that Samsung Electronics has been applying for mass production.
Samsung Electronics plans to mass produce from the 8nm process fab after several months depending on further process development.
The latest 8nm process technology is the most advanced process before extreme ultra violet (EUV) is employed at 7nm process technology based on the company’s overall foundry road map.
The 8nm process technology provides up to 10 percent lower consumption compared to the second-generation 10nm process technology and up to 10 percent area reduction, which is more suitable for high-performance processors needed in applications such as mobile, network, server, and cryptocurrency.
The latest development by Samsung Electronics has spurred more competition in the global foundry industry. Market leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) produces chips at 10nm process technology. The Taiwanese company has announced that it will introduce the next-generation 7nm processing technology.
Samsung Electronics, world’s fourth-largest player in the foundry market, plans to develop 7nm process technology in addition to its latest 8nm process. The company was the first in the industry to begin mass production of chips based on 10nm process technology in October, 2016. Samsung Electronics plans to stabilize process yield ratio of 8nm based on its processing know-how that has been accumulated by mass producing 10nm processing.
Samsung Electronics has continued its partnership with Qualcomm for the 8nm process technology, in addition to previous 14nm and 10nm chips. Sources from the semiconductor industry note that Samsung Electronics will work with Qualcomm to develop its next-generation application processor, in addition to the collaboration on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 mobile application processor.
Samsung Electronics, meanwhile, will be hosting the annual Samsung Foundry Forum in Munich, Germany, on Wednesday, and announce details of its foundry process roadmap including the latest 8nm process development to its global customers and partners.
By Lee Dong-in and Lee Eun-joo
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