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High-end 3 nm Samsung smartphone SoC tapes out

Samsung has successfully taped out a 3 nm smartphone SoC (image via Samsung)
Samsung has successfully taped out a 3 nm smartphone SoC (image via Samsung)
Samsung has announced its first-ever 3 nm SoC for smartphones has taped out. It leveraged Synopsys' software suite, resulting in more power efficiency and higher clocks. The chip in question is likely the Exynos 2500, which will power the Galaxy S25 series next year.

Samsung's upcoming flagship mobile SoC has just taped out. It means the chip's design has been finalized and it is ready for mass production. A blog post from Synopsys states it was achieved on an unspecified 3 nm Samsung Foundry node. It is very likely the second-generation iteration, SF3 (3GAP).

This, plus Samsung's earlier statement about a future 3 nm Exynos SoC, suggests the chip in question is the putative Exynos 2500, slated to power the Galaxy S25 series in early 2025. Kijoon Hong, vice president of Samsung LSI had the following to say on the development:

Our longstanding collaboration has delivered leading-edge SoC designs. This is a remarkable milestone to successfully achieve the highest performance, power and area on the most advanced mobile CPU cores and SoC designs in collaboration with Synopsys.

Symopsys' AI-driven software suite helped Samsung bump up clocks by 300 MHz with a 10% reduction in power consumption. This could potentially allow the Exynos 2500's prime Cortex-X5 core to operate at up to 3.6 GHz. Whether or not the MediaTek Dimensity 9400 will be able to match those clocks remain to be seen. With a rumoured 4.0 GHz on its performance cores, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 wins the clock speed race, at least now because we have no idea what the Apple A18 Pro will operate at.


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Anil Ganti, 2024-05- 6 (Update: 2024-05- 6)