Samsung has begun mass-production of chips using its hitherto elusive 7nm LPP EUV process. Utilising extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL), the South Korean techno giant will now be able to create more powerful, energy-efficient chips.
The breakthrough is likely to have far-reaching implications in a variety of areas including 5G, artificial intelligence, IoT and of course the manufacturing of ASIC crypto currency miners.
Power consumption has been a major problem in the crypto mining industry for some time, with energy costs spiralling out of control. However, Samsung’s latest innovation has the potential to significantly reduce energy costs, thereby boosting profitability.
Chip lithography is usually performed with argon fluoride immersion (ArF) technologies. However, the EUVL process reduces the number of masks needed for transistor stencilling. This basically means that Samsung can now cram an extra 40% worth of transistors inside next-generation SoCs (system on a chip), thereby reducing power consumption by up to 50%.
Charlie Bae, Executive President of Foundry Sales at Samsung, spoke of a ‘quiet revolution’ in the semiconductor industry and opined:
“This fundamental shift in how wafers are manufactured gives our customers the opportunity to significantly improve their products’ time to market with superior throughput, reduced layers, and better yields. We’re confident that 7LPP will be an optimal choice not only for mobile and HPC, but also for a wide range of cutting-edge applications.”
The news may or may not come as a surprise to Squire Mining which recently announced Samsung Electronics as foundry partner, in the production of its next-generation 10nm ASIC chips. However, as part of its press release Samsung pledged to deliver ‘additional capacity’ for customers who need ‘high-volume manufacturing for next-generation chip designs’.