Currently, Samsung and TSMC are the closest rivals in the chip manufacturing process field. Today, we learned that TSMC still dominates the market with a 70% market share. But in terms of process generation, they walk hand in hand. We mean both offer the sane nanometer processes to the chip maker. Honestly, Samsung’s process has some problems. We guess you remember the heating issue and worse power consumption of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. As a result, Qualcomm has had to switch to the TSMC process by launching the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.
On the last day of June, Samsung announced the mass production of the 3nm process. Thus, Samsung could outrun TSMC and commence production of the new process earlier. In this regard, we also have to say that TSMC will start producing its own 3nm process chips in a few months only.
Samsung said that it abandoned the previous FinFET architecture and adopted a new GAA transistor architecture. The latter greatly improved the power consumption performance of the 3nm process chip. Compared with 5nm, the newly developed 3nm GAE process can reduce power consumption by 45%, reduce the area by 16%, and improve performance by 23% at the same time.
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The second-generation 3nm GAP process, which is in the works and will appear in chips later this year, can reduce power consumption by 50%, improve performance by 30%, and reduce the area by 35%.
Samsung also has a plan. After the 3nm GAP process, it will immediately start making the 2nm GAP process. It also uses GAA transistors on nanosheet technology, but the structure is further optimized, from 3 nanosheets to 4. So it can increase the drive current.
The mass production of the 2nm GAP process will begin in 2025. The time point is similar to that of TSMC’s 2nm process. With a strong possibility, Samsung will outrun TSMC in technology, because TSMC’s 2nm process squeezes toothpaste on transistor density. The increase is only 10%.