Samsung Targets 4nm in 2020

Release time:2017-05-24
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source:EE Times
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Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Wednesday (May 24) updated its foundry technology roadmap, including detailing its second-generation FD-SOI platform, several bulk silicon FinFET processes down to 5nm and a 4nm “post FinFET” structure process set to be in risk production in 2020.

Samsung, which formally broke its foundry operation into a separate business unit called Samsung Foundry last week, also reiterated previously announced plans to put extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography into production in 2018 at the 7nm node.

”We are extremely aggressive with our roadmap, not only in planning, but in announcing what we are going to be doing in the next three to four years,” said Kelvin Low, senior director of foundry marketing at Samsung, in an interview in advance of Wednesday’s announcement.

The most forward-looking of Samsung’s Wednesday announcements, which were unveiled at the company’s annual U.S. foundry technology forum in Santa Clara, Calif., is the company’s proprietary next-generation device architecture, which it calls multi-bridge channel FET (MBCFET). The structure is described as Samsung’s own proprietary flavor of gate-all-around FET (GAAFET) technology that uses a nanosheet device to overcome the physical scaling and performance limitations of the FinFET architecture.

Samsung’s roadmap calls for putting MBCFET technology into risk production in 2020 in its 4nm low-power plus (LPP) process.

Between now and 2020, Samsung plans to put in production an 8nm LPP process this year, a 7nm LPP process featuring EUV next year and 5nm and 6nm LPP processes in 2019.

EUV, a long-promised an often pushed out lithography technology to succeed 193nm immersion lithography, finally appears to be on the verge of being inserted into production. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Globalfoundries, Samsung’s chief foundry competitors, have both declared their intentions to use EUV in production in 2019.

Samsung has demonstrated the EUV power source production target of 250W in process development. According to Low, the “magic number” for productivity with EUV is 1,500 wafers per day. Samsung has already exceeded 1,000 wafers per day and has a high degree of confidence that 1,500 wafers per day is achievable, Low said.

Kinam Kim, president of Samsung's semiconductor division, lays out the company's foundry process roadmap at the company's Foundry Forum in Santa Clara, Calif. Wednesday.
Kinam Kim, president of Samsung's semiconductor division, lays out the company's foundry process roadmap at the company's Foundry Forum in Santa Clara, Calif. Wednesday.

“We are confident that we are ready to bring [EUV] into production in 2018,” Low said. “This is no longer a concept roadmap item.”

Low said that Samsung, unlike some competitors, sees the 10nm node as a “long-lead node” that will provide customers with the performance and desired power consumption on leading edge designs for a considerable period of time.

“As long as we are able to deliver power, performance and scaling in production, we think it will be a very productive node,” Low said.

Samsung also detailed an 18nm FD-SOI process technology targeted for risk production in 2019. The company plans to gradually expand its current 28nm FD-SOI process into a broader platform by incorporating RF and embedded MRAM options before offering its second-generation FD-SOI platform, which it says will offer a 40 percent power savings, a 20 percent performance improvement and area advantages over its predecessor.

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Jung Yeon-je | AFP | Getty ImagesSamsung Electronics said on Tuesday that its fourth-quarter earnings likely decreased sharply due to lackluster demand in its memory chip business as well growing competition in the smartphone segment.The South Korean tech giant predicted operating profit for the three months ended December was approximately 10.8 trillion Korean won ($9.67 billion) — a 38.5 percent drop from the previous quarter and below the 13.2 trillion won that analysts predicted.Consolidated sales for the fourth-quarter is predicted to be around 59 trillion won, lower than the 62.8 trillion won analysts predicted in a Reuters poll, and nearly 10 percent down from the third quarter.The chipmaker said weaker-than-expected demand in the memory business led to a decline in shipments and a notable drop in memory chip prices.For its smartphone business, marketing expenses in an essentially stagnant smartphone market led to decline in profitability. Over the third quarter of 2018, Samsung saw more than 13 percent year-over-year decline in global smartphone shipments, according to International Data Corporation.Samsung will disclose detailed earnings later in the month but added that difficult business conditions for the memory business would likely keep its earnings subdued for the first quarter of 2019.The weak guidance from Samsung comes after Apple lowered its revenue and gross margin predictions last week, citing a weakening Chinese economy and lower-than-expected iPhone revenue in Greater China as some of the factors.Concerns over a slowdown in the Chinese economy have kept investors on edge. It could pose a worry for Samsung since it sells memory chips used in smartphones and data centers to Chinese firms. At the same time, it also has production plants in the world's second-largest economy for some of the memory chips — those are likely to be hurt by the ongoing trade tensions between Beijing and Washington.In December, a report from the Korea International Trade Association said the trade war may pose higher risks to both Samsung and its chipmaking rival SK Hynix.At the same time, a slowdown in Chinese consumer demand could potentially affect Samsung's consumer electronics business, including smartphones. One analyst said that China accounts for between 20 to 30 percent of global consumer tech demand.
2019-01-08 00:00 reading:822
Samsung’s two-year capex spending of $46.8 billion nearly matches the combined two-year capex spending of $48.4 set by Intel and TSMC.IC Insights revised its outlook for total semiconductor industry capital spending and presented its forecast of semiconductor capex spending for individual companies in its November Update to The McClean Report 2018, which was released earlier this month.Samsung is expected to have the largest capex budget of any IC supplier again in 2018.  After spending $24.2 billion for semiconductor capex in 2017, IC Insights forecasts that Samsung’s spending will edge slightly downward, but remain at a very strong level of $22.6 billion in 2018 (Figure 1).  If it comes in at this amount, Samsung’s two-year semiconductor capital spending will be an astounding $46.8 billion.Figure 1As seen in Figure 1, Samsung’s semiconductor capital outlays from 2010, the first year the company spent more than $10 billion in semiconductor capex, through 2016 averaged $12.0 billion per year.  However, after spending $11.3 billion in 2016, the company more than doubled its 2017 capex budget.  The fact that Samsung’s continued its strong capex spending in 2018 is just as impressive.IC Insights believes that Samsung’s massive spending outlays in 2017 and 2018 will have repercussions far into the future.  One effect that has already begun is a period of overcapacity in the 3D NAND flash market.  This overcapacity situation is due not only to Samsung’s huge spending for 3D NAND flash, but also from spending by competitors (e.g., SK Hynix, Micron, Toshiba, Intel, etc.) that attempt to keep pace in this market segment.With the DRAM and NAND flash memory markets showing strong growth through the first three quarters of 2018, SK Hynix ramped up its capital spending this year.  In 1Q18, SK Hynix said that it intended to increase its capex spending by “at least 30%” this year.  In the November Update, IC Insights forecasts that SK Hynix will see a 58% surge in its semi capex spending.  The increased spending by SK Hynix this year is focused primarily on bringing new capacity online at two of its large memory fabs—M15, a 3D NAND flash fab in Cheongju, South Korea, and the expansion of its huge DRAM fab in Wuxi, China.  The Cheongju fab is being pushed to open before the end of this year.  The Wuxi fab is also targeted to open by the end of this year, a few months earlier than its original start date of early 2019.Overall, IC Insights’ now forecasts total semiconductor industry capital spending will climb 15% to $107.1 billion this year, the first time that annual industry capex is expected to top $100.0 billion.  Following the industry-wide growth this year, semiconductor capex is expected to decline 12% in 2019 (Figure 2).Figure 2Given that the current softness in the memory market is expected to extend into at least the first half of next year, the combined capital spending by the three largest memory suppliers—Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron—is forecast to drop from $45.4 billion in 2018 to $37.5 billion in 2019, a decline of 17%.In total, the top five spenders, which are expected to represent 66% of total outlays this year, are forecast to cut their capital spending by 14% in 2019 with the remaining semiconductor industry companies registering a 7% decline.
2018-12-03 00:00 reading:753
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced several groundbreaking additions to its comprehensive semiconductor ecosystem that encompass next-generation technologies in foundry as well as NAND flash, SSD (solid state drive) and DRAM. Together, these developments mark a giant step forward for Samsung’s semiconductor business.Unveiled at its annual Samsung Tech Day include:7nm EUV process node from Samsung’s Foundry Business, providing significant strides forward in power, performance and area.SmartSSD, a field programmable gate array (FPGA) SSD, that will offer accelerated data processing and the ability to bypass server CPU limits.QLC-SSD for enterprise and datacenters that offer 33-percent more storage per cell than TLC-SSD, consolidating of storage footprints and improving total cost of ownership (TCO).256-gigabyte (GB) 3DS (3-dimensional stacking) RDIMM (registered dual in-line memory module), based on 10nm-class 16-gigabit (Gb) DDR4 DRAM that will double current maximum capacity to deliver higher performance and lower power consumption.“Samsung’s technology leadership and product breadth are unparalleled,” said JS Choi, President, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. “Bringing 7nm EUV into production is an incredible achievement. Also, the announcements of SmartSSD and 256GB 3DS RDIMM represent performance and capacity breakthroughs that will continue to push compute boundaries. Together, these additions to Samsung’s comprehensive technology ecosystem will power the next generation of datacenters, high-performance computing (HPC), enterprise, artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging applications.”Advanced Foundry TechnologyInitial wafer production of Samsung’s 7nm LPP (Low Power Plus) EUV process node represents a major milestone in semiconductor fabrication. The 7LPP EUV process technology provides great advances, including a respective maximum of 40-percent area reduction, 50-percent dynamic power reduction and 20-percent performance increase over 10nm processes. The 7LPP process represents a clear demonstration of the foundry business’ technology roadmap evolution, providing Samsung’s customers a direct path forward to 3nm.Powering Server-less ComputingSamsung enables the most advanced providers of server-less computing through products including the new SmartSSD, quad-level cell (QLC)-SSD, 256GB 3DS RDIMM as well as High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) 2 Aquabolt. By accelerating data processing, bypassing server CPU limits and reducing power demands, these products will enable datacenter operators to continue to scale at faster speeds while containing costs.Samsung’s industry-leading flash memory products for future datacenters will also include Key Value (KV)-SSD and Z-SSD. KV-SSD eliminates block storage inefficiency, reducing latency and allowing datacenter performance to scale evenly when CPU architectures max out. The company’s next-generation Z-SSD will be the fastest flash memory ever introduced, with dual port high availability, ultra-low latency and a U.2 form factor, designed to meet the emerging needs of enterprise clients. Z-SSD will also feature a PCIe Gen 4 interface with a blazing-fast 12-gigabytes-per-second (GB/s) sequential read, which is 20 times faster than today’s SATA SSD drives.Accelerating Application LearningA range of revolutionary Samsung solutions will enable the development of upcoming machine learning and AI technologies. The Tech Day AI display highlighted astounding data transfer speeds of 16Gb GDDR6 (64GB/s), ultra-low latency of Z-SSD and industry-leading performance of Aquabolt, which is the highest of any DRAM-based memory solution currently in the market. Together, these solutions help Samsung’s enterprise and datacenter clients open new doors to application learning and create the next wave of AI advancements.Streamlining Data FlowSamsung’s new solutions will enable not just faster speeds and higher performance but also improved efficiency for its enterprise clients. Enterprise products on display at Tech Day included D1Y 8Gb DDR4 Server DRAM, which incorporates the most advanced DRAM process, resulting in lower power usage. Samsung’s 256GB 3DS RDIMM also helps to improve enterprise performance and enables memory-intensive servers capable up to 16-terabytes (TB).Additionally, Samsung’s dual-port x4 PCIe Gen 4 32TB SSD offers 10GB/s performance. Samsung’s 1Tb QLC-SSD presents a cutting-edge storage option for enterprise clients with competitive efficiency when compared to hard disk drives (HDD), while KV-SSD allows server performance to scale even as CPU architectures max out, also providing a competitive TCO, write amplification factor (WAF) improvement and scalability.Breaking Performance BarriersWith their leading-edge specs, Samsung’s QLC-SSD, Z-SSD and 8GB Aquabolt help high-performance computing clients blast through performance barriers and reach new heights. The 8GB Aquabolt provides the fastest data transmission speed and highest performance of any DRAM-based memory solution on the market today at 307GB/s per HBM cube. QLC-SSD and Z-SSD, both powerful on their own, are also offered in a tiered storage solution that results in a 53-percent increase in overall system performance.Enabling Future InnovationEmerging tech requires the most innovative and flexible components. Samsung’s SmartSSD will increase speed and efficiency, and lower operating costs by pushing intelligence to where data lives. Movement of data for processing has traditionally caused increased latency and energy consumption while reducing efficiency. Samsung’s new SmartSSDs will overcome these issues by incorporating an FPGA accelerator into the SSD unit. This allows for faster data processing through bypassing server CPU limits. As a result, SmartSSDs will have higher processing performance, improved time-to-insight, more virtual machines (VM), scalable performance, better de-duplication and compression, lower power usage and fewer CPUs per system.Unparalleled Product EcosystemSamsung’s comprehensive product portfolio with state-of-the-art solutions set new standards for data processing speed, capacity, bandwidth and energy conservation. By leveraging such solutions, data centers, enterprise companies, hyper-scalers and emerging tech platforms are able to configure product solutions based on their requirements and develop exciting new tech offerings such as 5G, AI, enterprise and hyperscale data centers, automotive, networking and beyond.Samsung will continue to push boundaries in tomorrow’s semiconductor technologies through innovations such as its sixth-generation V-NAND built on a single structure, or with ‘1-stack technology,’ and sub-10nm DRAM with EUV for super-high density and performance.Experts across the industry, including Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, were invited at Samsung Tech Day to address the advancements and challenges in today’s semiconductor market, and offer insights for the future of semiconductors. More than 400 customers, partners and industry influencers attended the event.
2018-10-22 00:00 reading:887
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