Samsung’s last financial report released recently showed that Samsung’s profit will fall sharply in the quarter, down 9% year-on-year and 38.5% from the previous quarter. The main reason for the sharp decline in earnings is the sluggish Samsung smartphone business and the memory chips price cuts, this trend will continue until the first half of this year.
In order to make up for the impact of the memory chips price reduction cycle, Samsung has already begun to strengthen the foundry business to catch up with TSMC, and this will be the time to seize the advanced technology production. According to Samsung executives, they will mass produce 7nm EUV processes in the second half of this year, and in 2021 they will mass produce more advanced 3nm GAAFET chips.
According to Tomshardware’s website, Ryan Sanghyun Lee, vice president of Samsung’s foundry business, said that Samsung has been developing GAA (Gate-All-Around) technology since 2002 and has created MBCFET (Multi-Bridge-Channel) by using nanochip devices, this technology can significantly enhance transistors performance.
Last year, Samsung said that it would use a 4nm GAAFET process as early as 2020. Industry watchers, such as Garner vice-president Samuel Wang, have been skeptical that GAAFET chips would be in production before 2022. However, Wang said that it now looks like Samsung will bring GAAFET chips to production earlier than expected.
Samsung is also expected to be the first to put 7nm EUV chips into production later this year. Although TSMC and Global Foundries are not too far behind in developing EUV chips, Samsung has an advantage because it has already developed its own EUV mask inspection tool internally and no similar commercial tool has been developed yet.
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Yongjoo Jeon, a principal engineer with Samsung Foundry, also added that the company is on track to achieve the target defect density for mass production later this year.