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Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Samsung To Start Producing Faster, 2nd Generation 10nm Chips By The End Of the Year

Samsung is ready to produce faster and even more power-efficient chips than the ones it uses the latest Galaxy S8 smartphones, based on the 10-nanometer LPP (low-power plus) process.

Samsung's second generation 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology has been qualified and features enhancements in 3D FinFET structure to offer up to 10-percent higher performance or 15-percent lower power consumption compared to the first generation 10LPE (Low-Power Early) process with the same area scaling.

Samsung was the first to begin mass production of system-on-chips (SoCs) products on 10LPE last October. The latest Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphones are powered by some of these SoCs (Samsung Exynos 8895).

To meet long-term demand for the 10nm process, Samsung has started installing production equipment at its newest S3-line in Hwaseong, Korea. The S3-line is expected to be ready for production by the fourth quarter of this year.

Samsung hasn't announced customers for the new chips. But one client could be Qualcomm, which has its Snapdragon 835 chips in the Galaxy S8. They are made in Samsung's existing 10-nm fabs.

A successor to the Snapdragon 835 could be made on the new manufacturing 10-nm LPP node, though Qualcomm hasn't announced anything yet.

Samsung and Intel are fighting for the title of the world's most advanced chip manufacturer. Samsung is the first to 10nm, while Intel delayed its move due to manufacturing issues. Intel is still making chips using the 14-nm process and will release its fourth chip architecture on its process.

Intel is moving to 10nm later this year but even at 14nm holds a technical edge over Samsung, according to analysts.

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