Samsung to start 10nm chip production in 2016
Samsung announced that it willl start mass production of 10nm chips by the end of 2016. At an event in San Francisco, the company has also showcased the first silicon wafer manufactured using the new technology, which means the specification of the new production process has already been finalized.
The Korean giant has not revealed too much information about the new, 10nm process. but indicated that it will continue to use fin-shaped field-effect transistors (FinFET) and promised "significant power, area, and performance advantages". According to Samsung, 10nm chips will be perfect for a broad variety of applications, including consumer electronics, mobile devices, computing, networking and data center infrastructure. At this moment it is not certain whether the 10nm chips are going to be made available ion several different versions, as it has been the case with 14nm FinFET.
Apple will, most certainly, be the key customer for Samsung Foundry’s 10nm chips. If mass-production indeed starts next year, then the Cupertino company might use the new chips in its smartphones and tablets launched in 2017. Right now Apple orders ca. 40 thousand 14nm wafers monthly.
Meanwhile, Samsung is increasing its 14nm FinFET chips production at its S1 fab in Hwaesong, South Korea and Austin, Texas. 14nm Exynos 7 Octa processors are used in Galaxy S6-series smartphones. The company is also starting to manufacture first wafers with Apple’s A9 SoC’s that will power the next generation iPhones and iPads.