In context: Samsung’s semiconductor division made some errors within the current previous that prompted corporations like Qualcomm and Nvidia to go to TSMC for his or her chip manufacturing wants. These have been Samsung’s two largest foundry prospects, and the corporate appears decided to convey them again with its 3nm GAA course of know-how. With higher yields on this new node and TSMC busy making Apple silicon on N3, the Korean large might be able to entice some new prospects, too.
Like Intel, Samsung has been struggling to search out prospects for its 3nm GAA course of node. This may be partly defined by TSMC slicing costs for 3nm FinFET wafers, which have been hovering across the $20,000 mark final yr. That stated, Apple has secured your complete preliminary provide of N3 wafers, creating a chance for TSMC rivals to draw some orders from different massive shoppers like Nvidia, Qualcomm, IBM, MediaTek, and Baidu.
Samsung has been courting these corporations to develop into their provider for superior chips utilizing its 3nm GAA course of know-how. The corporate began producing 3nm wafers at its Hwaseong services final summer time, months earlier than rival TSMC. In the meantime, Intel’s Foundry Providers division is enjoying catch up and plans to begin mass-producing chips on an Intel 3 node someday in 2024.
World foundry market share by income | Counterpoint Analysis
Throughout a current investor name, the Korean tech large stated it achieved secure yields on 3nm GAA wafers via the primary three months of this yr, however did not provide any figures. Native publication FNNews reviews the corporate has achieved yields of round 60 to 70 p.c. This represents a major enchancment in comparison with a yr in the past when Samsung was solely capable of obtain yield charges of round 10 to twenty p.c.
For reference, TSMC’s N3 yields are estimated at round 55 p.c, which is why Apple was capable of negotiate a worth between $16,000 and $17,000 per wafer for A17 and M3 chipsets. The Taiwanese chipmaker believes it might probably enhance yields by 5 proportion factors each quarter, so Samsung should additionally enhance at the same tempo if it desires to attract potential prospects to its 3nm GAA course of node.
Now learn: There may be TSMC and there is everyone else, can Samsung or Intel catch up?
Talking of attracting prospects, Samsung Electronics president Kye-Hyun Kyung stated throughout a current interview that he cannot disclose their names, although he famous the checklist is rising and virtually all massive corporations have proven curiosity in Samsung’s 3nm GAA tech. He additionally stays assured the corporate can overtake TSMC and develop into the world’s greatest chipmaker within the subsequent 5 years.
For now, Samsung’s prime precedence is to revitalize demand for NAND and DRAM chips, as surplus stock coupled with low general gross sales had led to revenue diving to a 14-year low within the first quarter of this yr. For the long run, the chipmaker plans to construct the world’s largest chip middle, an enormous endeavor that may take 20 years and a minimum of $230 billion in capital expenditures to finish.