A year ago, Samsung Foundry announced that it had completed the development of EUV-based 5nm chipsets. In a short period, it is now already in the process of setting up manufacturing facilities for the same.
Samsung has reportedly already placed orders for machinery from its partners, which will be needed for setting up the 5nm foundry line. The V1 plant at its campus in Hwaseong will handle this production. The setup process, which has already begun, usually takes about 2-3 months to reach operational levels. Once the fabrication line is in place, an additional few months are spent at optimizing the production and improving the yield.
Samsung’s 5nm EUV chips will be about 25% smaller than those fabricated using the 7nm EUV die. It will inherently increase the transistor density as well as improve efficiency by about 20%. Notable customers include Qualcomm, which will be using Samsung’s manufacturing process on its upcoming Snapdragon X60 modem for its next generation of 5G smartphones.
Optimistic estimates suggest that Samsung will be able to mass-produce 5nm chips by the end of this year. This will be a crucial step in Samsung’s mission of catching up with TSMC, which is the only other brand with the ability to manufacture 5nm chipsets.
For context, TSMC is ready with its manufacturing lines and is on track to commence production in April. It means it not only achieved its previous target of being production-ready in the first half of 2020 but will have an almost 6-month lead over Samsung. Moreover, it also seems to be completely booked with orders.