Samsung is ready to start out making chips utilizing its 2nd Era 3nm-class (SF3) manufacturing expertise in addition to performance-enhanced model of its 4nm-class (SF4X) fabrication course of within the second half of subsequent yr, the corporate informed its traders this week. Each manufacturing nodes are anticipated to considerably enhance aggressive positions of the corporate as they’ll allow it to construct new kinds of merchandise.
“We’ll strengthen our expertise competitiveness by way of the 2H  mass manufacturing of the 2nd technology 3nm course of in addition to the 4th technology 4nm course of for HPC,” an announcement by the corporate reads. “The market is forecast to shift to development because of a rebound in cell demand and continued development in HPC demand.”
Samsung’s forthcoming SF3 course of expertise is a main improve to its present SF3E manufacturing node, which, primarily based on the accessible data, is just used to make small chips for cryptocurrency mining. Samsung asserts that the SF3 will provide larger design versatility by permitting for various gate-all-around (GAA) transistor’s nanosheet channel widths inside the similar cell sort.
Though Samsung doesn’t make direct comparisons between SF3 and SF3E, it says that SF3 gives main enhancements over SF4 (4LPP, 4nm-class, low energy plus), which incorporates a 22% improve in efficiency at equal energy and complexity, or alternatively, a 34% discount in energy consumption on the similar frequency and transistor rely, together with a 21% discount in logic space. On the whole, it’s anticipated that SF3 can be a greater choice for complicated designs than SF3E, although it’s going to enter high-volume manufacturing within the second half of 2024.
Within the meantime, Samsung Foundry’s 4nm-class technology nodes proceed to evolve. The corporate gearing as much as launch its SF4X (4HPC, 4 nm-class high-performance computing) course of expertise, tailor-made for high-performance purposes comparable to CPUs and GPUs utilized in information facilities. This one goes to be SF’s first course of node in current years that has been particularly designed for high-performance computing (HPC) purposes.
Samsung’s SF4X course of expertise guarantees to ship a ten% enchancment in efficiency together with a 23% discount in energy consumption. Whereas Samsung has not disclosed the baseline for this comparability, it’s possible in reference to their normal SF4 (4LPP) course of. This enhancement is achieved by way of a redesign of the transistor’s supply and drain areas, following a reassessment of their efficiency underneath probably high-stress situations, the appliance of superior transistor-level design-technology co-optimization (T-DTCO), and the implementation of a new middle-of-line (MOL) structure.
With refined MOL structure, SF4X is predicted to attain a silicon-validated minimal working voltage (Vmin) for CPUs at 60mV, scale back the variability within the off-state present (IDDQ) by 10%, guarantee steady excessive voltage (Vdd) operation above 1V with out compromising efficiency, and improve course of margin for SRAM.