Samsung unveils superior 7nm chip production method, mum's the word on the S10's Exynos

Samsung unveils superior 7nm chip production method, mum's the word on the S10's Exynos
Besides Apple's foundry darling TSMC, Samsung will be the main challenger in the battle for leadership in the production of chips using the complicated 7nm process

Samsung's chief of the semiconductor LSI division called the technology "challenging" during the quarterly results press conference, yet mentioned that Samsung expects to become a leader there. Why? Well, it will be the exclusive producer of second-gen 7nm chipsets, made with the so-called extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment that helps laying down the minuscule transistors close to each other without too much drama. 

Samsung just announced that it kickstarts the EUV production in a lengthy post describing all the advantages that it will bring to future mobile chipsets that are crafted in its foundries. We will spare you all the juicy argon fluoride against ultraviolet details and will go straight to the benefits for the end user.

Chips made with the second-gen 7nm EUV lithography can be produced easier now, with better yields, and with a reduced number of masks needed for production that will make them cheaper to make on average. At the same time, compared with the 10nm chips in the Note 9 or iPhone X, the 7nm LPP EUV silicon can be made with a 40% smaller footprint, and either 20% faster, or with the whopping 50% reduction in power draw. 

Since today's mobile processors are powerful enough, we'd wager to guess that the designers of the future Snapdragons, Exynos or AX Bionic chipsets will opt for a diminished toll on battery life, and the space saved by the EUV method will be utilized for something else in the increasingly crowded smartphone internals. 

Korean media reports today that the first customers for the new lithography will be Qualcomm with its upcoming 5G modem, and Samsung itself, but mum's the word if the eventual Galaxy S10 Exynos model will be made with this improved 7nm method.

Samsung unveils superior 7nm chip production method, mum's the word on the S10's Exynos

source: Samsung & ETNews (translated)

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21 Comments

1. kratos47

Posts: 16; Member since: May 27, 2015

It's a Chip war out there. Snapdragon v Exynos v Apple v Kirin

2. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

And we knew exactly which is the winner.

10. Papa_Ji

Posts: 761; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

11. worldpeace

Posts: 3077; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

$1200 vs $300. Spoiler : $300 won most of it, lol.

14. kratos47

Posts: 16; Member since: May 27, 2015

Careful now. The Apples are very sensitive...lol

15. Trex95

Posts: 2315; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Popcorn phone lol.

6. alanrock

Posts: 223; Member since: Oct 04, 2018

the show must go on...

12. yalokiy

Posts: 866; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Those are not chip manufacturers.

13. kratos47

Posts: 16; Member since: May 27, 2015

No....but those are the chips competing.

19. yalokiy

Posts: 866; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Then it's offtopic, because it's about 7nm production by samsung.

3. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 988; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

All the while they are preparing for the 5nm process by 2021

4. kryme

Posts: 464; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

And apple will still beat them to the punch.

7. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 988; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

You mean TSMC, as Apple doesn't manufacturer hardware. But either way, even if they do beat them, it's all the more beneficial for us so more power to them.

5. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2103; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Waiting on results of the A12X...

8. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2236; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Just for those curious, this will not change the fact that the Snapdragon 855 will use TSMC as their provider. Samsung won’t have the yield to mass produce Qualcomm or Apple chipsets until 2020 (according to their own estimate). They have begun production with just 1500 chipsets being built a day - that’s not enough for global demand but enough for an Exynos processor. TSMC has started risk production using their own EUV process too, so by the time Samsung is ready for mass production TSMC will have similar technology.

20. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1091; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

TSMC hasn't actually started risk production yet, merely paved the way to start it sometime next year, meaning it'll be at least a year behind Samsung when it comes to high volume production. TSMC isn't expected to start using EUV until 2020, if not 2022 on 5nm EUV. Samsung is expected to bring it to their own Exynos SoC next year, although there was a little rumor that Qualcomm might shift part of the production to Samsung for the SD8150, as TSMC supposedly struggles with the yields of 7nm production, at about 50%.

9. isofilm

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 18, 2018

Have there been 7nm benchmarks for the: Apple A12 (TSM), YES Kirin 980 (TSM), YES Snapdragon 8150 (TSM), YES AMD Vega 20 (TSM), YES AMD EPYC Rome (TSM), YES 50 other 7nm tape-outs from TSM, Yes Exynos 9820 (Samsung), NO Any 7nm tape-out from Samsung, NO

16. cheetah2k

Posts: 2146; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Yeah, but EUV is going to be much better than anything TSMC can fab right now. Kudos to Samsung for taking the time to do things right

21. isofilm

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 18, 2018

You actually think Samsung will have 7nm EUV before TSMC? At best, they'll have EUV at the same time, but TSMC will still have all their current 7nm (non EUV) customers (50+), ready to convert to EUV, while Samsung only has itself as an 7nm customer.

17. cheetah2k

Posts: 2146; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

double post - delete

18. vincelongman

Posts: 5585; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yea, I'm doubtful 7LPP will be in anything until at least Q2-Q3 2019 (which lines up to when Qualcomm release their discrete modems) 7LPP is more of a 7FF+ (TSMC's 2nd gen 7nm) competitor anyways since it uses EUV

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