Samsung’s Latest 6nm Silicon Chips Mass Produced For North American Smartphone Market, Destined For Qualcomm?

Samsung Electronics is reportedly mass producing 6nm Silicon Chips, which are smaller even than the 7nm chips that TSMC is producing for AMD and NVIDIA. The perfection of the 6nm EUV technology is expected to be extended further to even smaller die sizes including 5nm and 3nm, and that too in the immediate future. Samsung appears to be manufacturing the 6nm Silicon Chips for the North American market.

Samsung has not only managed to catch up to its Taiwanese rival in semiconductor size but even exceeded the same with an even smaller sized die. The company had begun to develop a 6-nanometer process production line to compete with TSMC sometimes back. But Korean news publications are now reporting that Samsung has moved beyond the design and development stage of the 6nm Silicon Chips. According to local publications, Samsung initiated mass production of 6 nanometers (nm) semiconductors based on Extreme UltraViolet (EUV) technology last month itself.

Samsung Races Ahead Of TSMC In Mass Producing 6nm Silicon Chips Within Record Time:

Samsung had begun mass-producing and supplying 7nm products to global customers in April of last year. In other words, it took the company a mere eight months to start mass-producing 6nm products. Needless to add, Samsung’s cycle of upgrading the microfabrication process technology appears to have shortened significantly.

According to local reports, Samsung Electronics started mass-producing 6nm products based on EUV technology at the S3 Line of Hwaseong Campus in Gyeonggi Province in December last year. Sources indicate Samsung has undertaken the production of the 6nm Silicon Chips majorly for the North American market. Moreover, reports indicate Samsung will be supplying the majority of the stock to large corporate customers in the region. Industry experts conclude that Samsung’s 6nm products are headed to Qualcomm, the world’s second-largest fabless company.

Samsung’s sudden lead in producing the smallest sized silicon chip wafer is indeed surprising simply because the Korean semiconductor giant was late in developing a 7-nm process following 16-nm and 12-nm processes. The delay was so profound that TSMC managed to monopolize the AP supply to Apple for the iPhone, the largest fabless customer, through its 7nm technology.

Following the successful mass production of 6nm chips, Samsung Electronics is rumored to be developing 5nm products, which might be mass-produced in the first half of this year. If that’s not surprising enough, the company is believed to be able to mass-produce 3-nm products too in the same time frame. Rumors indicate Samsung is in the final stages of developing a production process for a 3nm chip based on Gate-All-Around (GAA) technology. Interestingly, this technology overcomes the limitations of semiconductor miniaturization, theoretically opening the door for further shrinking the die sizes.

Back in 2014 when the 14-nm Fin Field-Effect Transistor (FinFET) process was considered ground-breaking, Samsung had a considerable lead over TSMC. But the latter overtook the South Korean tech giant by successfully mass-producing 7nm chips a little while later. Judging by the struggles Intel has been reportedly going through, neither the development nor the mass production of silicon chips on the FinFET process is simple.

Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.