Samsung racing with TSMC to get 10nm chips out first, 40% less power draw promised

Samsung racing with TSMC to get 10nm chips out first, 40% less power draw promised
Samsung might be currently holding all the cards in mobile processing with its 14nm FinFET production method that outed the scorching fast Exynos 7420 in the S6, but TSMC is not resting on its laurels, it seems. It will apparently race past 14nm, and go straight to the 10nm process, just like Samsung did when it skipped the 20nm FinFET mark, and went directly to 14nm for the trendy stacked method.

In fact, the TSMC risk trial productions of 10nm chips will start as soon as this year, and the foundry will be able to accept orders from big customers like Apple or Qualcomm as soon as next year, if all goes well. This apparently doesn't sit well with Samsung, as it managed to steal those two important customers from TSMC with its 14nm process already. Qualcomm has tasked Samsung with the production of its upcoming Snapdragon 820 chipset, after the TSMC fiasco with 810, while Apple has given the A9 production to the Samsung fab in Austin.

For now, Samsung plans on expanding its 14nm capacity, and hasn't announced any change of schedule for the start of its own 10nm lines, which was originally set for the end of next year. Back in May, however, the System LSI division showcased the first 10nm wafers in a highly unusual move, likely aimed at giving a pause to big customers like Apple, before they commit to TSMC for the development of their next-gen chipsets. The 10nm process, as with every die shrink of this magnitude, will introduce a 20% increase in peak clock rates, and a whopping 40% decrease in power consumption, all in the same footprint, and that's what the race is all about.

FEATURED VIDEO

27 Comments

1. Derekjeter

Posts: 1455; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I love tech competition, This just benefits us. Can you imagine 40% less power consumption? This will make a 3000 MAH battery last at least two days in heavy use.

4. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

I wonder what will happen after they achieve 1 nm....

6. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Nothing they just move lower to pico meter.

7. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

0.1 nm is there

10. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Nothing, but for a different reason that the two others said: The limit is around 5nm... under that silicon doesn't scale any more. In fact no one is sure if it is economically feasible to go under 7nm. To answer your question: no one really knows! There are some alternatives with carbon nanotubes, germanium and optic chips, but all are in their infancy... If there is a viable alternative is kept super secret by whoever has it, and it will be a mayor hit:http://www.cnet.com/news/life-after-silicon-how-the-chip-industry-will-find-a-new-future/#!

16. Derekjeter

Posts: 1455; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Just think of what all of them (Samsung,Apple, IBM, TSMC, Microsoft) can do if they would play nice. We would have a true smart watch, a real smart phone among other stuff. I know we have those now but they all have their limits. Some do what others don't.

11. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

If only that where true... the main power consumer in a phone is the screen, not the SoC. So unless they make more efficient screens that won't happen.

14. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, competition is great for everyone Also I want to clear up some things since the source is somewhat misleading TSMC are skipping 14nm, but that because they are moving onto 16nm instead 14nm http://www.tsmc.com/english/dedicatedFoundry/technology/16nm.htm I wouldn't expect 10nm until at least late 2016 since its started risk production this year (it will be similar for Intel or Samsung) E.g. for 20nm TSMC started risk production in Q2 2012 and we didn't see it in a product until the iPhone 6 and 6+ in Q3 2014http://www.tsmc.com/uploadfile/ir/BusinessRelease/TSMC%20Announces%20Move%20to%2020nm%20Process%20_E.pdf

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Also it was similar for 28nm TSMC started risk production in Q2 2010 and we didn't see it in a product until 2H 2012http://www.tsmc.com/tsmcdotcom/PRListingNewsAction.do?action=detail&language=E&newsid=4041

18. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

And that's overly optimistic IMHO. I don't expect TSMC 10nm till late 2017 or early 2018. Even Intel won't be ready for 10nm till late 2016 and Samsung probably early 2017.

21. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep it was Judging by TSMC's past, it seems it takes ~2 years after the start of risk production, which would mean most likely late 2017 Apparently Intel might not have 10nm by 2017http://www.techspot.com/news/61103-intel-10nm-cannonlake-delayed-replaced-14nm-kaby-lake.html Intel has been leading recently, but they had major delays at 14nm

23. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

That's big news, if that is true someone else (most likely Samsung) can take the lead. I knew the major issues in 14nm, but Intel kept saying they would not affect to the 10nm nodes as they are reusing the same tech (FinFET mainly) and nothing really new was neeeded. Thanks for the link!

25. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Even if TSMC manufactures 10 nm SOC first, most probably Samsung would come with first device with 10nm SOC as Samsung is direct producer of SOC and devices.

24. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Then they will put 2000 mah battery... make bigger margin.

26. waddup121 unregistered

Samsung x IBM and Intel...best innovative companies out there.

2. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Just in the news today, IBM in conjunction with Samsung showed the successful production of 7nm chips.... Keep up with the times.

3. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Samsung slowly turning into a chip god.

8. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

2nd largest in the world. Only second to Intel

20. ph00ny

Posts: 2002; Member since: May 26, 2011

Not true. TSMC is the second largest after Intel

5. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Anyone knows about Intel i think Intel already have 14nms socs!?

9. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Their latest Broadwell (5th Gen) Processors are made by 14nm process.

12. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Daniel, Samsung DIDN'T SKIP 20 nm, they created two SoCs in 20nm: Exyons 5430 and 5433. Then realized that 20 nm without FinFET is not really working fine and went full speed to 14nm.

17. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

There WAS a 20 Nm process that was skipped. I don't know if it was FinFET but 14 Nm LPP process has some borrowed parts from that skipped 20 Nm LPM.

19. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

The skipped HP (High Performance) in 20nm completely and 20nm LPM (Low Power Mobile), only developed the LPE (Low Power Early). There reason is to develop those the would have actually needed FinFET in 20nm like Intel did in 22nm. Same did TSMC:http://www.tsmc.com/english/dedicatedFoundry/technology/20nm.htm compare it with their 28nm nodehttp://www.tsmc.com/english/dedicatedFoundry/technology/28nm.htm And yes, they borrowed parts of the skipped 20nm LPM and moved them over 14nmhttp://anandtech.com/show/9330/exynos-7420-deep-dive But that does not mean they skipped 20nm as the article says!

13. Loubielou

Posts: 603; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Your Chips will be Down Samsung when your Note 4 users ditch you,just trying to Improve Apple and not themselves

22. surethom

Posts: 1618; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

All this battery saving sound nice, But, the display uses the most battery not the processers, so although this is very good, bigger batterys are still needed.

27. tsarma12

Posts: 10; Member since: Jul 08, 2015

samy will win for sure..

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.