These days, tech giants are working hard on generating more advanced chips in order to stand out from the rat race. Samsung, the world leading semiconductor manufacturer also join the competition and announced that they are prepared for the wafer production of their 7-nanometer (nm) LPP (Low Power Plus) at Samsung Tech Day 2018 in Silicon Valley on October 18.
Samsung Foundry, the production sector of Samsung has launched its 7nm LPP chips using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology. Different to the normal argon fluoride immersion tech used in chip lithography, the EUV is the key to the Moore’s Law that may cutting down the number of masks needed for stencilling transistors on silicon and thus cutting down the time and cost of producing chips. The firm predicts that the 7nm tech would reduce 20 percent of the total mask required for an SoC design.
According to Samsung, its 7LPP manufacturing technology may reduce the area of chips by 40 percent from its previous 10nm tech, plus 20 percent higher performance and 50 percent lower in power consumption.
Samsung’s 7LPP launching came soon after TSMC made the same announcement. It seems Samsung and TSMC have stand out from the army race while Inter is still stuck on the 14nm process.
Nevertheless, there are some difference between Samsung and TSMC’s 7nm process. TSMC deploys its 7nm on conventional lithography and then deploys an EUV flavor of the node while Samsung using EUV directly.
TSMC is now producing its 7nm chips for Apple’s A12 Bionic and Huawei’s Kirin 980. Although Samsung hasn’t disclosed who the company’s customer for its 7nm EUV might be, the company implies that the first customers for the new chip will target mobile and high performance computing (HPC) applications.
As energy costs have proven to be a key factor in the profitability of the cryptocurrency mining, the high performance 7nm chips may benefit the crypto miners using Samsung hardware.