Samsung. Intel. TMSC. They’re members of the exclusive club that fabricate the system-on-chips (SoC) in hundreds of millions of devices, and over the last few years, they’ve constantly been trying to outdo each other. The latest to make a move is Samsung, which this week announced it was ready to start mass-producing second-generation 10nm FinFET chips in Hwaseong, Korea.
That’s a lot of jargon, but here’s the gist: Samsung’s new chips benefit from 10LPP (Low Power Plus), a new process that the company expects to start showing up in consumer devices in early 2018. With the introduction of the 10LPP process technology, its processors will be able to achieve 10% higher performance and 15% lower power consumption compared to the previous generation, which used 10LE (Low Power Early). 10LPP is derived from 10LPE technology,
“We will be able to better serve our customers through the migration from 10LPE to 10LPP with improved performance and higher initial yield,” Ryan Lee, Vice President of Foundry Marketing at Samsung Electronics, said in a press release.
Samsung Electronics — the division within the company responsible for its SoC business — thinks 10LPP will confer a number of competitive advantages. First, it’ll reduce the turnaround time for new chips — i.e., the steps between development and mass production. Second, it’ll lead to much higher initial chip yields, which will stem losses incurred in manufacturing.
Samsung also announced today that its newest manufacturing line, S3, is ready to ramp up production of 10nm chips (and eventually 7nm FinFET chips). It’s located in Hwaseong, Korea, and it’s the third fabricator in the company’s chip business. (The first two, S1 and S2, are in Giheung, Korea and Austin, Texas, respectively.)