SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has begun mass producing chips with advanced three-nanometre technology, the first to do so globally, as it seeks new clients to catch far bigger rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) in contract chip manufacturing.
Compared with conventional five-nanometre chips, the newly developed first-gen three-nanometre process can reduce power consumption by up to 45%, improve performance by 23%, and reduce area by 16%, Samsung said in a statement.
The South Korean firm did not name clients for its latest foundry technology, which supplies made-to-order chips like mobile processors and high-performance computing chips, and analysts said Samsung itself and Chinese companies are expected to be among the initial customers.
TSMC is the world’s most advanced foundry chipmaker and controls about 54% of the global market for contract production of chips, used by firms such as Apple and Qualcomm which don’t have their own semiconductor facilities.
Samsung, a distant second with a 16.3% market share, according to data provider TrendForce, announced a 171 trillion won (RM581bil) investment plan last year to overtake TSMC as the world’s top logic chipmaker by 2030.
“We will continue active innovation in competitive technology development,” said Siyoung Choi, head of foundry business at Samsung.
Samsung Co-CEO Kyung Kye-hyun said earlier this year its foundry business would look for new clients in China, where it expects high market growth, as companies from automakers to appliance goods manufacturers rush to secure capacity to address persistent global chip shortages.
While Samsung is the first to produce with three-nanometre chip production, TSMC is planning two-nanometre volume production in 2025.
Samsung is the market leader in memory chips, but it had been outspent by frontrunner TSMC in the more diverse foundry business, making it difficult to compete, analysts said. — Reuters