While Intel is currently "stuck" on the 14nm process node for its volume production processors, other players in the industry have been shipping 7nm chips for months. 7nm SoCs have been developed by Apple, Huawei, and Samsung, while AMD has pushed out the 7nm Radeon VII and is preparing for volume shipments of 7nm Zen 2-based processors.
Samsung, on the other hand, is already looking past the 7nm process node towards 5nm. The South Korean electronics giant announced this morning that it has completed development of its 5nm FinFET process technology that will be used in future SoCs that will power next-generation mobile devices.
Chips based on Samsung's 5nm node will take advantage of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology and will offer up to a 25 percent uplift in logic area efficiency compared to its current 7nm products. Samsung also says that chips using its 5nm FinFET process will be able to deliver a 10 percent boost in performance or a 20 percent lower power draw (or a combination of the two).
“Considering the various benefits including PPA and IP, Samsung’s EUV-based advanced nodes are expected to be in high demand for new and innovative applications such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), high performance computing (HPC), and automotive," said Charlie Bae, EVP for Samsung Electronics' Foundry Business. "Leveraging our robust technology competitiveness including our leadership in EUV lithography, Samsung will continue to deliver the most advanced technologies and solutions to customers.”
Samsung is also pointing out that its customers stand to reap some substantial cost savings – due to the fact that its 5nm node uses the same intellectual property as 7nm -- and shortened product development cycles. And although Samsung is currently ready for customers samples at 5nm, it has not set a concrete date for volume production.
In other news, Samsung says that it has already taped out chips based on its customer intermediary 6nm process node, which also is EUV-based. Samsung hasn't yet announced which customers have selected this process node for future products.