Samsung jumped ahead of the 4nm process to outperform TSMC in the race for silicon technology. According to foreign media reports, it was discovered yesterday that Samsung has revised the roadmap for the chip process and skipped the 4nm process, a direct upgrade from 5nm to 3nm.
Samsung’s move was aimed at gaining a competitive edge in the technology race to beat leading chip manufacturer TSMC, which is currently at the forefront of the industry.
TSMC has been a leader in chip processes in recent years, with its 7nm and 5nm processes being the first to go into mass production and a large number of chip foundry orders, even more, continuous exclusive A-series foundry processors for Apple from 2016.
Samsung was formerly an OEM for Apple’s A-series processors, but in 2015 the company launched the iPhone 6S series as an OEM for Apple’s A9 processor. Samsung’s 14nm process also consumes more power than TSMC’s 16nm process. As far as the chip process is concerned, it lags behind TSMC, whose advanced process has also won a large number of orders for the chip foundry.
However, the question is whether Samsung would be able to get the chip process up and running with the 3nm process by skipping the 4nm process and upgrading directly from 5nm to 3nm. It’s hard to say at the moment because TSMC has also developed a 3nm process and has been planning it for years.
TSMC’s 3nm process, which had been planned before the retirement of company founder Tadanori Chang, said in an interview eight months before his retirement that the 3nm process was conservatively planned for 2022. It is estimated that the transition could cost $15 billion and eventually reach $20 billion.
In a first-quarter analyst call on April 16 this year, Tetsuya Wei, vice chairman and CEO of TSMC, also spoke about the 3nm process and said that the development of the 3nm process is proceeding as planned and they plan to test production in 2021. Mass production is planned for the second half of 2022.