Samsung Electronics Struggling to Create Working 3nm GAA Process Technology
Samsung Electronics is reportedly continuing to experience difficulty in advanced technology while developing the 3nm gate-all-around (GAA) processes.
Gate-all-around, or GAA transistors, are a modified transistor structure where the gate contacts the channel from all sides and enables continued scaling. Such transistors are referred to as gate-all-around, or GAA, transistors, and different variants have been proposed.
— Lam Research Blog
Samsung Electronics' 3nm GAA process is considered "less competitive" to TSMC's 3nm FinFET technology when it comes to discussing costs and performance.
[FinFET is a] fin field-effect transistor is a multigate device, a MOSFET built on a substrate where the gate is placed on two, three, or four sides of the channel or wrapped around the channel, forming a double or even multi gate structure.
Samsung was scheduled to start production by 2022 but might face additional delays if this report is accurate. TSMC is on schedule to start mass production of 3nm FinFET process technology as soon as the third quarter of 2022.
"N3 will be another performance and cost for our customers."
— CC Wei, TSMC CEO, during the company's recent quarterly earnings call
Intel and Apple have already started creating orders with TSMC for their 3nm FinFET technology, while Samsung Electronics revealed the $205.5 billion capital expenditure program that will be in effect for the next three years. Samsung is planning to use those funds on chip technologies.
Samsung will rollout their first-gen 3nm GAA Early and second-gen 32 GAA Plus (GAE and GAP, respectively), but their GAE production will not be able to start until as soon as 2023 because of the various problems they have experienced during development.
Samsung Electronics has mentioned, prior to this new information, that their 3nm GAE process will enter what they are calling "risk production stage" during the end of 2020, with mass production this year. Unfortunately, the company is trailing behind TSMC developing advances in the chip technology when they lost contracts from Apple for their iPhone processors. TSMC is in a key position to being the first to release the 3nm process technology, reports various market observers.
Source: DigiTimes Asia
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