Samsung confirms the promises made at the end of last year, when it said that the mass production of the 3-nanometer chips would start in the first half of 2022. Now the company has not only reiterated the promise, but has made it special. In the summary document of the fiscal results for the first quarter of the year, Samsung has specified that during the current quarter (from the beginning of April to June) it will start the production of the chips with the most advanced production process.
In October, Samsung said the 3-nanometer process would be divided into two stages. The ultimate stated goal is to turn on the GAA transistors that have been working on in Seoul since 2022 to overcome the current FinFETs, but the transition will be gradual and not immediate. For the first generation of 3-nanometer chips (3GAE), Multi Bridge Channel FET or MBCFET transistors will be used to then pass, with the second generation scheduled for next year, to G ate-All-Around Field-Effect Transistors or GAAFET always at 3 nm.
Already with MBCFET the advantages should be evident: thanks to voltages lower than 0.75 volts, compared to the 7 nanometer FinFET the power consumption should be reduced by 50%, the performances should go up by 30% and the dimensions down by 45%. However, Samsung will have to be good at improving the yield if it wants to pull back the orders of producers like Qualcomm which for the 4 nanometer chips would have preferred, according to what is rumored on the net, to knock on the door of the Taiwanese rivals of TSMC.
However, Samsung cannot complain about the economic contribution of the chip division. In fact, in the first quarter of 2022, out of an operating profit of 11.2 billion dollars, more than half (6.7 billion) came from semiconductors.