Samsung is testing out the first 3 nm GAAFET semiconductor prototypes
One of the highlights of 2019 was the introduction of 7 nm production nodes that helped deliver advanced chips like AMD’s Ryzen 3000-series CPUs along with Navi GPUs and all the latest mobile SoCs including Apple’s A13 Bionic plus Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855. In turn, 2020 will see the jump to 5 nm nodes, which will fire on all cylinders to fulfill Apple’s orders for the A14 Bionic SoCs that are epxected to power the iPhone 12 models. Still, the 7 nm tech will not be completely pushed aside since Nvidia already booked Samsung’s and TSMC’s foundries for its upcoming Ampere GPUs. Looking into the future, TSMC is planning to introduce 3 nm nodes in 2022, yet Samsung is hoping to pull ahead with a 2021 launch of its advanced 3 nm production technique.
A new report issued by Korean publication Maeil Economy states that Samsung completed research for the 3 nm nodes and prototypes for GAAFET (Gate-All-Around-FET) semiconductors are ready to be tested. This improved technique allows channels to be gated on all four sides, ensuring that the power leakage is kept to a minimum. The advantages over the 5 nm FinFET nodes would be a reduction of the total silicon size by up to 35% and increased performance by 33%, while power consumption is decreased by 50%. APUs and mobile SoCs are expected to benefit the most out of the jump to the GAAFET 3 nm semiconductors, as their performance should get closer to current mid-range desktop CPU + entry level GPU combos.
The report also mentions that Samsung will continue to heavily invest in cutting edge foundries in order to become the world’s largest semiconductor supplier by 2030.