Samsung begins making 10-nano chipsets for S8

Rachel Ahn, Oct. 17, 2016, 9:24 a.m.

Samsung Electronics said Monday it had begun the mass production of 10-nanometer application processors for the first time in the global semiconductor industry, and would apply them into new mobile devices to be launched early next year.

The South Korean tech giant said its 10-nanometer APs had 27 percent better performance, saved 40 percent more energy and increased the number of chips per wafer 30 percent compared to the 14-nanometer APs that made up the previous generation.

Samsung will be unveiling the upgraded APs in about two years since it mass produced the 14-nanometer processors early last year. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter, and a human hair is 100,000 nanometers in diameter.

“The mass production of this 10-nano APs has proven the competitive edge of Samsung Electronics’ fine process technology,” said Yoon Jong-shik, a vice chief of Samsung’s foundry business.

Samsung said it aims to produce the second generation 10-nano processors by 2017 and plans to use the APs for a long term through continued improvement and the expansion of derivation process.

The new processors are expected to be used for American chipset-maker Qualcomm’s Snapdragon APs and Samsung Electronics’ Exynos APs next year.

Samsung’s supply deal for iPhone 8’s A11 processors remains uncertain. Apple has already chosen Samsung’s rival and Taiwanese chip foundry TSMC as the sole vendor for iPhone 7’s A10 processors and will reportedly exclude Samsung for the iPhone 8 to be launched next year.

Apple has been trying to find a company other than its smartphone rival Samsung to manufacture its chipsets.

Also, Samsung’s long-term client Qualcomm is reportedly planning to use TSMC to produce its Snapdragon 830 chipsets, according to news reports from Taiwan on Monday.

If so, TSMC will have an additional client for its 10-nano chipset production next year, the reports said.
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