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Samsung is the first company to begin mass production of a 10nm SoC

By Koh Wanzi - on 18 Oct 2016, 10:49am

Samsung is the first company to begin mass production of a 10nm SoC

Image Source: Samsung

Samsung has announced that it is the first company to begin mass production of an SoC based on a 10nm FinFET process. Samsung’s current chips are manufactured on a 14nm process, and the 10nm node represents a more conventional progression to scaling, as opposed to fabs like GlobalFoundries that are skipping 10nm in favor of 7nm.

According to Samsung, its 10nm process will feature two iterations, with the 10LPE process leading the way. The 10nm FinFET (10LPE) process can reportedly allow up to a 30 per cent increase in area efficiency and 27 per cent higher performance, thanks to certain enhancements in process technology and design. Samsung also says that power consumption could be lowered up to 40 per cent, although it phrased this in a way that suggested better performance and lower power consumption were mutually exclusive.

And in order to overcome scaling limitations, Samsung used techniques like triple-patterning to allow bi-directional routing, which also enables it to retain design and routing flexibility from previous nodes.

We won’t even have to wait that long for 10nm chips. Samsung says it expects leading edge 10LPE products to arrive in devices as soon as early 2017, with more widespread availability as the year progresses.

A second-generation 10LPP process is even slated for the middle of next year, which would provide additional performance improvements.

Samsung’s chip business has always been an especially strong point, and the company will probably need all the good news on this side of things as it can get given the ongoing Galaxy Note7 fiasco. Intel will forge ahead with 10nm chips in 2017, and TSMC is working on 10nm as well, but Samsung is still the first to properly enter mass production.

Source: Samsung

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