Samsung is delaying its 3-nanometer chip to 2022. The Korean electronics company isn’t the only big tech giant to create microchips. Apple has M1 and Google has Tensor, both with their own level of performance capabilities. Per a recent CNBC article, other tech companies are working on creating their own chips, too. According to a former employee of UK’s Dialog Semiconductor, bringing chip manufacturing in-house can make the hardware perform better and be cheaper.
Another reason companies are creating custom chips is because of the shortage. The shortage could last until 2023. Earlier this year, Apple had to postpone production on the latest MacBook and iPad because of the lack of microchips. This came as a surprise because the tech giant is usually good at managing supply chains. Apple isn’t the only company the ongoing shortage has affected. It’s also impacting gaming companies like Toshiba that manufacture Xbox and PlayStation.
Samsung has an early version of its next chip called 3GAE. In 2023, the company expects to have “a more mature version called 3GAP” in high production. The next step for Samsung after that is 2GAP. “That manufacturing method will be the first of Samsung’s 2nm generation” and is expected in 2025. The technology will be increased to 4 nanoribbons from 3nm. The Head of Samsung’s Foundry Strategy Team, Moonsoo Kang, said the company aims to “lower the cost” of the chip despite difficult technology.
One of the areas chip manufacturing has improved is packaging. This refers to how the chips are connected to the processor. Samsung is working on methods to improve this. It has a 2.5D integrated circuit, where the chips are connected edge to edge, and 3D where they can be on top of each other. The company is also focused on how to package the chips for “higher-speed connections.” Appropriately, Samsung calls its combination of 2.5D and 3D connections 3.5D, which Kang says will lead to “unprecedented performance and density.”
Despite the 3-nanometer chip’s delay, it’s clear Samsung still has exciting technology on the horizon. Users will just have to wait a little bit longer than they expected initially to try out these upgrades.
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