Samsung takes on TSMC in race to 3nm chips

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Samsung Electronics thinks it can close the gap with TSMC in logic manufacturing. A senior executive told attendees of a private event that the Korean company’s foundry division will be churning out 3nm chips in 2022, Bloomberg reports. After initiating risk production in 2021, TSMC is aiming to move into 3nm volume production in the second half of 2022.

Credit: Samsung

Part of Samsung’s strategy to match, or overtake, TSMC is the adoption of gate-all-around transistors at 3nm. Surrounding the channel on all sides with gate material has a number of advantages, among which better gate controllability and reduced leakage current. TSMC has opted to keep using FinFETs at 3nm.

Securing enough EUV scanners from ASML will be key to Samsung’s success. Reportedly, Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee visited Veldhoven to discuss supply of EUV equipment. According to Taiwanese media outlet Digitimes, TSMC recently placed an order for 13 EUV scanners.

ASML plans to ship 35 EUV machines this year and 45-50 next year.