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Samsung starts mass production of 10nm chips

Mon 17 Oct 2016

Samsung 10nm

Samsung has announced that it has begun mass-production of its 10-nanometre chips, claiming to be the first semiconductor manufacturer to start building the technology on a commercial scale.

While the Korean electronics giant did not mention who it is producing the transistors for, South Korea’s Electronic Times reported that the deal is to manufacture Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 830 processors using the 10-nanometre technology. In addition to Samsung’s own Galaxy and Note range, should the Qualcomm partnership be confirmed, its 10-nanometre innovation could also be found in devices from Google, HTC and Sony, among others.

According to Samsung, the system-on-a-chip (SoC) produced at 10-nanometres will provide 27% better performance and 40% lower power consumption than its current industry-leading 14-nanometre model.

In order to overcome scaling limits, Samsung said that it had applied a triple patterning technique to allow for bi-directional routing which helps retain design and routing flexibility.

The company said that the first generation chips (10LPE) will begin to appear in devices from early 2017, with later versions (10LPP) coming to the market towards the end of next year.

‘The industry’s first mass production of 10nm FinFET technology demonstrates our leadership in advanced process technology,’ commented Jong Shik Yoon, a Samsung executive vice president and head of its foundry business. ‘We will continue our efforts to innovate scaling technologies and provide differentiated total solutions to our customers.’

The company added that through further work with clients and partners it will work to support 10-nanometre by establishing a foundry ecosystem, which will include reference flow verification, IPs and libraries.

Back in July, Samsung rival IBM announced the world’s first 7-nanometre chip which it claimed will enable a 50% increase in processing speeds. Currently under development at IBM Research, GlobalFoundries and the State University of New York, the chip is not likely to become available for commercial use for a few years.


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