Official: Samsung begins shipment of the world's first 3nm chip

Image source: Samsung

Samsung Electronics, a Korean multinational technology business, has started shipping chips produced using the most sophisticated 3-nanometer manufacturing technique, which has considerably improved performance and lowered power usage. Remember how the company announced last week that the first 3nm chip in the world would be unveiled the following week?

However, the tech giant conducted a ceremony today with 100 enterprises and government representatives in attendance to mark the export of the first batch of 3-nm chips from its chip-making site in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.

The 3-nm technology is Samsung’s secret weapon to outpace its rival TSMC. Despite its expertise in memory chips, Samsung remains a distant second in the burgeoning foundry market, with less than a 20% share, while TSMC controls more than 50% of the global market.

Samsung’s 3-nm technology has a higher transistor density than the current 5-nm technology, resulting in faster and lower-power advanced chips for artificial intelligence, big data, and self-driving cars. Likewise, the first-generation 3-nm process has reduced power consumption by 45 percent and improved performance by 23 percent when compared to the current 5nm FinFET process.

Accordingly, the tech behemoth was also the first to adopt a more advanced transistor architecture known as gate-all-around field-effect transistor technology (GAAFET), which increased the overall efficiency of current fin field-effect transistor technology (FinFET).

GAAFET is thought to be necessary for next-generation foundry microfabrication, which is smaller than 3 nm, but chipmakers are struggling to improve the low yield rate in the early stages of production. According to the company, its engineers began researching GAAFET technology in the early 2000s and adopted it for the then-upcoming 3-nm manufacturing process in 2017. The company made the mass production of 3nm chips official last month, becoming the first chipmaker to do so.

Speaking on the latest 3-nm production at the event, Kyung Kye-Hyun, CEO of Samsung’s chip business division, said it is an outcome of innovation and a milestone for the company’s foundry business.

In his words: “The latest 3-nm production is a milestone for Samsung’s foundry business,” Kyung Kye-Hyun continued, “At a time when the FinFET technology is nearing its limits, we have succeeded in developing the GAAFET technology as an alternative earlier than others. 

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