Right now there are only two independent foundries that are able to manufacture cutting-edge chips. The companies are TSMC and Samsung Foundry. Independent foundries take chip designs created by other firms and build the actual chips off of that design. Both TSMC and Samsung are working on building chips using their 3nm process nodes. The smaller the process node used, the larger the number of transistors found inside a chip.
Samsung is rumored to announce mass production of 3nm chips as soon as next week
Still, over time, you can see how “Moore’s Law” has forecast the incredible increase in processing capabilities over the years. Let’s take the iPhone X, which was released in November 2017 powered by the Apple A10 Bionic chipset. The latter carried 4.3 billion transistors in each chip. Now let’s move ahead to the 2021 iPhone 13 series which sports the A15 Bionic chipset. The A15 Bionic contains 15 billion transistors, up 27.1% from the 11.8 billion transistors employed by the A14 Bionic chip.
Samsung’s GAA design is called Multi-Bridge Channel Field Effect Transistor (MBCFET) also known as nanowires. This is one of only two different gate-all-around designs currently available with the second one known as GAAFET or nanowire.
Transistor architecture moves from FinFET to gate-all-around
The report cites a major Korean news agency that says Samsung is expected to make a major announcement about its 3nm chip production shortly. It also notes that the move to gate-all-around from FinFet will reduce the area of a chip by 45% to help deliver a performance bump of 30% while reducing energy consumption by 50%. However, there is a big problem. Samsung was reportedly getting yields of only 10% to 20% at 3nm meaning that the vast majority of its 3nm chip dies cut from a wafer could not pass quality control.
Source: Phone Arena