August 10, 2022

Samsung launches mass production of advanced 3nm chips

Samsung announced on Wednesday that it has begun mass production of 3-nanometer processors, a faster and more efficient chip class.

The advanced processor technology will reduce power consumption by 45% and area by 16% while improving performance by 23% over the 5nm process, Samsung said in a statement. The processor was previously expected to arrive in 2021 but was delayed until this year.

The transition to next-generation manufacturing technology is extremely complicated. Microchips are made up of billions of electronic components called transistors, each much smaller than a speck of dust. Progress comes from the miniaturization of transistors in order to fit more of them on a chip, to increase their speed and reduce their energy consumption.

The new chip makes its debut amid extreme pressure in the processor industry. With the pandemic boosting PC sales, smartphone usage and online services running out of data centers, demand for processors has outstripped manufacturing capacity. The shortage of chips has hampered sales of PCs, game consoles, cars and other products dependent on global electronics supply chains.

It also comes amid intense competition in the chip industry. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co is the world’s most dominant foundry chipmaker, controlling nearly 54% of the global market in the first quarter of 2022, according to data provider TrendForce. In comparison, Samsung came far behind with 16.3% market share.

In 2025, Samsung plans to move to a second, more advanced gate-all-around technology it calls 2GAP. This manufacturing method will be the first of Samsung’s 2nm generation.