Samsung Electronics Co Ltd announced on Thursday it has commenced the mass-production of chips with advanced 3-nanometre technology, the first to do so, as it seeks new clients to catch far bigger rival TSMC in contract chip manufacturing. Compared to conventional 5-nanometre chips, the newly designed first-gen 3-nanometre process can reduce power consumption by up to 45 per cent, improve performance by 23 per cent, and reduce the area by 16 per cent, said Samsung in a statement.
“We will continue active innovation in competitive technology development,” said Siyoung Choi, Head of Foundry Business at Samsung. Samsung Co-CEO Kyung Kye-Hyun announced earlier this year that the foundry business would look for new clients in China, where it expects high market growth, as companies from automakers to appliance goods manufacturers rush to ensure capacity to manage the ongoing global chip shortages.
The South Korean corporation did not name the clients for its latest foundry technology, which supplies chips like mobile processors and high-performance computing chips, and analysts predicted that Samsung itself and Chinese companies are expected to be the initial customers.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s most advanced foundry chipmaker controls about 54 per cent of the global market for contract production of chips, used by corporations such as Apple and Qualcomm which don’t have their own semiconductor facilities. Samsung, a faraway second with a 16.3 per cent market share, according to data provider TrendForce, announced a 171 trillion won ($132 billion) investment plan last year to surpass TSMC as the world’s top chipmaker by 2030.
Samsung’s endeavours to compete with the industry leader have also been stymied by less-than-expected yields of last-gen chips during the past year or so, analysts said. The company said in March that its processes have shown gradual progress.