Thursday, January 14, 2016

Samsung has started mass production of its 2nd Gen 14nm ‘Low Power Plus’ chip. Qualcomm is a new customer. Press Release.



Samsung Electronics, the component manufacturing arm of Samsung, has announced its 14nm ‘Low Power Plus’ manufacturing process has begun mass production of chips, with Qualcomm as a new customer.

The company competes with the likes of Taiwan’s TSMC for outsourced chip manufacturing business from chip companies that don’t have their own fabs, which means pretty much everyone except Intel. Having the latest process technology is key to their competitiveness.

Each successive generation of process technology tends to increase the amount of processing you get from the same sized chip, while at the same time reducing its power requirements. These kinds of improvements are especially important in mobile devices and embedded applications, which prioritise longer batter lives and low heat generation.

The LPP process is the second generation of Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process technology, which claims to offer a 15% performance improvement at the same time as 15% lower power consumption.

“We are pleased to start production of our industry-leading, 2nd generation 14nm FinFET process technology that delivers the highest level of performance and power efficiency” said Charlie Bae, EVP of Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics’ System LSI Business. 

Samsung will continue to offer derivative processes of its advanced 14nm FinFET technology to maintain our technology leadership.”

The acquisition of Qualcomm as a customer for its latest Snapdragon 820 flagship SoC is a major coup for Samsung as Qualcomm has previously used TSMC exclusively to manufacture these kinds of chips. Qualcomm confirmed to Reuters that Samsung would be the sole manufacturer of Snapdragon 820s.

This news creates an interesting dynamic concerning the chip that will power the Galaxy S7 range Samsung is expected to unveil at Mobile World Congress at the end of February. Samsung’s own Exynos 8 chip will also be manufactured on this process but the handset division seems to be free to pick whoever it wants to supply its SoCs.

Qualcomm suffered when it lost the Galaxy S6 business and winning it back would mark a significant reversal of fortune.


Press Release:

Samsung Announces Mass Production of 2nd Generation 14-Nanometer FinFET Logic Process Technology.


Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, announced that it has begun mass production of advanced logic chips utilizing its 14nm LPP(Low-Power Plus) process, the 2nd generation of the company’s 14nm FinFET process technology.

In leading mass production of advanced FinFET logic process, Samsung announced in Q1 of 2015 the launch of the Exynos 7 Octa processor built on the industry’s first 14nm LPE (Low-Power Early) process. With the new 14nm LPP process, Samsung continues to demonstrate its process technology leadership, and unparalleled performance and power efficiency for its Exynos 8 Octa processor and its many foundry customers including Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.. The Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor uses Samsung’s new 14nm LPP process and is expected to be in devices in the first half of this year.

“We are pleased to start production of our industry-leading, 2nd generation 14nm FinFET process technology that delivers the highest level of performance and power efficiency” said Charlie Bae, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, System LSI Business, Samsung Electronics. “Samsung will continue to offer derivative processes of its advanced 14nm FinFET technology to maintain our technology leadership.”

Incorporating three-dimensional (3D) FinFET structure on transistors enables significant performance boost and low power consumption. Samsung’s new 14nm LPP process delivers up to 15 percent higher speed and 15 percent less power consumption over the previous 14nm LPE process through improvements in transistor structure and process optimization. In addition, use of fully-depleted FinFET transistors brings enhanced manufacturing capabilities to overcome scaling limitations.

With its superb characteristics, 14nm FinFET process is considered to be one of the most optimized solutions for mobile and IoT applications and is expected to meet growing market demand for a wide range of high performance and power efficient applications from network to automotive.

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