Samsung began manufacturing chips using the 3nm Gate-All-Around (GAA) process last month, and today it held a ceremony to celebrate the first shipment of such chips.
The ceremony was attended by about 100 people, including company executives and employees, CEOs of companies looking to use the new technology, as well as Lee Chang-yang, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, who pledged support for the country’s semiconductor ecosystem.
Left to right: Samsung Electronics CEO, Minister Lee Chang-yang and CEO of Samsung’s Foundry Division
Samsung Electronics began researching GAA transistors in the early 2000s and experimenting with the design in 2017. Now it is ready to mass-produce chips using the new process.
Compared to the FinFET design, which has been the standard for several years, the Gate-All-Around design allows transistors to conduct more current while remaining relatively small.
According to Samsung, the 3nm GAA chip will use 45% less power, be 23% faster and be 16% smaller compared to an equivalent 5nm FinFET chip. This is for the first generation of the GAA process, by the way Gen 2 will further improve these metrics.
The development of FET transistors – Samsung uses the MBCFET design for its 3nm chips
Samsung isn’t saying what kind of chips were in stock for the first shipment, but the company plans to develop smartphone chipsets using the 3nm GAA design.
TSMC will also start mass production of 3nm chips later this year, although they will still use the FinFET design – the company will switch to GAAFET with the transition to a 2nm node.