Samsung Begins Mass Production of 10nm Mobile SoCs
The company's latest chip will begin appearing early next year in devices, including possibly the company's next-generation Galaxy smartphone.Samsung Electronics has begun mass production of 10-nanometer chips that will be used in devices starting next year, with reports saying that the upcoming Galaxy 8 smartphone could be one of those devices. Samsung officials announced the mass production of the tiny 10nm FinFET system-on-a-chip (SoC) Oct. 17, adding that the company is the first chip maker to reach that goal. Other vendors, including Intel and Qualcomm, are pushing in that direction. In addition, Intel's foundry business also will manufacture 10nm mobile chips for devices that will be based on ARM's low-power processor designs. The new FinFET chip delivers an enhanced 3D transistor structure that includes improvements in both process technology and design over the current 14nm products. The result is an SoC that provides 27 percent better performance and 40 percent lower power consumption in a space 30 percent smaller, according to Samsung officials. In addition, such capabilities as triple patterning to enable bidirectional routing will let engineers keep design and routing flexibility over previous chips and overcome scaling limitations, they said.
Qualcomm is the world's largest provider of processors for mobile devices, but Samsung also is a player. Its ARM-based Exynos chips run many of the company's Galaxy smartphones and other mobile devices, and reports earlier this month indicated that Samsung will be the only contract manufacturer of Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 830 SoC, using its 10nm manufacturing processes. Those chips will be used in half of the next Galaxy smartphones, which will roll out early next year and reportedly will feature a curved display and dual cameras on the back.