Samsung just tooled up for mass production of the chipsets that will go into the Galaxy S10
and Note 10, as it is breaking ground on a brand new foundry this week, tasked with making the plunge all the way down to the 7nm
production node. The factory costs $5.6 billion, yet Samsung has further expansion plans about it, since the 7nm process will be with us for at least a few years going forward.
The Snapdragon 845
chipset that is about to debut in the Galaxy S9
, is packing Qualcomm's X20
modem, which does 1.2 Gbps, so we'd wager to guess that the 7nm X24
modem that Qualcomm announced last week, is meant for the Snapdragon 855 SoC that will go into the Galaxy S10
at the earliest. Samsung said that it will begin risk trials of 7nm chips this year, and will be ready for mass production in early 2019, so we can reasonably expect the new S3 factory will be the one tasked with the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 chipsets.
The source claims that Samsung's brand new foundry is a response to TSMC's 7nm production, which may end up in the Apple's A12 chipset
in the 2018 iPhones crop, but we beg to differ. The fact that Samsung has ordered at least 10 sets of Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment from the Netherlands for the new foundry, at about $140 million apiece, indicates that it intends to go above and beyond the TSMC process which still uses the old optical method that has already hit its limits.
Thus, the 7nm EUV chips produced in Samsung's new factory, albeit spared for next year, might be superior to the ones that TSMC will be able to churn out this summer with the aging optical lithography, so we can't wait to pit the Galaxy S10 against Apple's finest specimen in the fall crop.