No, an investigation was launched last month, but there is still no answer.
And as the world’s top ten semiconductor companies, when everyone is shouting about the lack of cores, Samsung has becomeThe only company to see revenue decline in the first quarter…
Looking at TSMC above, the envious face turned green.
So, what happened to Samsung, which could make cameras, mobile phones, systems, and chips, in the past few years?
The mobile phone industry has eaten a turtle, and the panel industry has been gradually challenged by domestic manufacturers, giving up its own chip architecture.Even the chip foundry industry, the only chip foundry industry in the world that can produce processes below 5nm, is so disgusted by everyone?
As a company that has been passed down for many years, Samsung’s performance in the past few years can be said to be consistent withInfightingCan’t get out of the relationship.
In the past few years, we have also been able to read a lot of this kind of Samsung news, including the lack of good product rate to deceive the superior and the inferior, the ranking of seniority, and the mutual disgust between departments…Unexpected ways of infighting that we can think of, Samsung may have tried both.
This made the Samsung prince anxious. In August 2021, after Li Zaiyong was released from prison “for the country”, within three months, there was a wave of personnel adjustments within the company.
The three CEOs of Samsung’s mobile division, Samsung’s consumer electronics and device solutions divisions have all been removed, and the former two divisions have been merged into a new division, SET.
After a while, Lee Jae-yong also transferred Song Jae-hyuk, the former leader of the flash memory development department, toSemiconductor R&D DepartmentAppointed as the newest head, Nam Suk-woo, Vice President of Global Manufacturing and Infrastructure, Semiconductor Equipment Solutions DivisionFoundry Manufacturing Technology Centerprincipal.
put these two in the pastThe generals fighting in the memory field are sent to the foundry field, It can be said that Samsung’s intention to plot semiconductors is very obvious.
After all, it was already obvious what would happen if the infighting was the same as in the past.
More terrifying than the drop in yield is to letBuyers of advanced manufacturing lose confidence.
Qualcomm and Nvidia are playing the role of big buyers for Samsung here.
However, now one of these two has cooperated with TSMC and urgently launched 8+Gen1 to cope with the rise of MediaTek this year, and the other announced that the next-generation 40-series gaming graphics card will also be developed based on TSMC’s N4 process.
Not long ago, some media also got the 8+Gen1 engineering machine and tested it. Compared with the previous Samsung OEM 8Gen1… It has a little higher performance and lower power consumption…
This is true that the crash is not terrible, whoever is worse is embarrassed.
Figure source Geek Bay▼
The bad reviewer also heard a hell joke in the chip industry:
In the past, when everyone made chips, they paid with one hand, and produced them for you according to the number of wafers consumed. Each company has its own yield rate, and how many chips can be made depends on the yield rate. year.
And to Samsung’s side, because the yield rate is really not a compliment. So they became calculated by how many chips can actually be produced in the end…
One hand for the money, the other for the chip.
…It really makes Samsung wonder why the yield rate is so poor.
Of course, chip technology,Failure is also technology, success is also technology.
After all, the names of 5nm and 4nm are more of a name used by manufacturers to promote their own process nodes, and there is no absolute physical meaning to refer to.
Why Samsung is so embarrassed now is largely because the latest chips are not as good as the next-door TSMC,Yield, power consumption, transistor densityCan’t do anyone else.
Each craft density map, source: Digtimes▼
So, if the next time Samsung makes chipsBetter yield,lower power consumption,Better transistor density, then these annoying problems are not solved.
Coincidentally, Samsung thinks so too, and the future of their injection is 3nm technology.
Samsung, will be the world’s first fab to enter the GAA structure.
What is GAA? In simple terms, it is likely to be the next generation of transistor technology that will be used on our mobile phone SoCs.
In recent years, with the evolution of Moore’s Law, chips have become smaller and smaller, and the power consumption of transistors has become lower and lower. However, as transistors become smaller and smaller, a new problem – leakage current has arrived as scheduled.
As chip design enters the nano field,The leakage problem of static power consumption begins to roll over.
For example, if the transistor is regarded as a “switch”, the leakage problem is like thisswitch not turned on,But there is still leakage current.
This is the “short channel effect”. To reduce the leakage power consumption caused by it, new structures or new materials need to be found.
After the chip is 22nm, the technology everyone uses is called FinFET (Fin Field Effect Transistor).
by “embedding”Increase the contact area, to get better leakage control performance, a bit like making the previous one-dimensional transistors two-dimensional.
Today, chips are getting smaller and smaller, and FinFETs are not enough to reach the threshold of 3nm.
And this time, the big guy came up with a new future process to solve the problem, called GAA (Gate All Around Transistor).
This is a bit like turning two-dimensional into three-dimensional, and turning three-sided surrounds into four-sided surrounds in FinFET, so as to catch all the electrons that are just around the corner.
According to Samsung’s report, and its own7nmCompared with the process, the initial version of its own GAA, 3GAE (3nm Gate-All_Around Early), can reduce the chip area by 35%, improve performance by 30%, and reduce power consumption by 50%.
This cake looks delicious…Improve the performance by 30% and reduce the power consumption by 50%…With this improvement, what fire dragon must lie down obediently and turn us into an ice dragon.
No, wait, wait, why do you compare the 3nm process with the 7nm process mass-produced in 2017, why not use the significantly closer 4nm?
Well, in fact, Samsung also gave a technical comparison of 3nm and 4nm processes,But – not fully given.
The comparison picture is indeed given one, but… there is only this one. What about the ruler of the horizontal and vertical coordinates? What is the starting unit for the comparison?
Can you tell me how strong I am?
As the “first person to eat crabs” in the GAA field, we can understand that Samsung will face many technical challenges.
But you look at the time when Samsung plans to mass-produce 3nm.Q2 2022.
Compared with TSMC, the 5nm and 4nm from home are a bit water-filled, and they lag behind in transistor density.
I don’t know if Samsung’s first-generation GAA can compete with TSMC’s high-density mature finFETs. It may be a question mark.
In the past,The first products of the new process iteration node, and the performance of the actual experience has also been incomparable.Previous Generation Process Enhanced Node ProductsCase. ( for exampleIntel10nm and 14++)
In addition to the difference in the technical routes of the two companies, if Samsung wants to achieve a counterattack against TSMC in the 3nm or 2nm stage, it has to pass the lithography machine.
in this regard.
TSMC andASML can be said to beHaveProfound friendship of revolutionary comrades-in-arms.
ASML 20 years ago was still unknown in the field of lithography, relying on in-depth cooperation with TSMC, meeting the right people at the right time.
The two companies are working together to develop 193nm immersion lithography. The former lithography giant Nikon was kicked out.
From the 45nm process 20 years ago to the 7nm process in previous years, it all relied on immersion lithography.
Samsung does not have this relationship like TSMC. It has to look at the lithography machine and find another way.
Not long after you see the prison, Lee Jae-yong, who just finished his internal rectification, went to European countries last week. He didn’t stay in other places, and went straight to the Netherlands to chat and laugh with the senior management of ASML and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
The purpose of all this is for the latest EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) lithography machine.
In general, although Samsung has lost the first opportunity in the 5nm and 4nm markets, it does not mean that it has completely lost the opportunity to fight back.
After all, the chip industry is an extremely competitive market. If the former top brand takes a wrong step, it may lose its leading edge in the next-generation process.
What if SMC’s 3nm FinFET really overturned because of uncontrollable power consumption?
“Kingship has no eternity“In this industry, it’s not uncommon for leaders to go fork in the road.
In the past, this was the case for Intel behind the 14nm process gate, and now it is the same for Samsung in front of the 7nm gate. In the future, the same may be true for TSMC, which still insists on using FinFET on the 3nm threshold.
But in any case, it is unreliable to pin the chance of turning over on others.
The Q2 quarter of 2022 is more than halfway through, and now there is not much time left for Samsung.