Today Samsung is reporting a number of updates regarding their process technology roadmap.
Last year, the company’s EUV-based 7-nanometer node entered risk production. Today, Samsung is reporting that 7-nanometer has entered mass production.
Samsung is also announcing that its development of the 5-nanometer FinFET process technology is complete and is ready for customers’ samples. The 5 nm node is said to provide up to 20% lower power at a constant performance or up to 10% higher performance at constant power compared to their 7 nm node.
|Samsung 5-nanometer Perf Claims|
|14 nm vs 28 nm||10 nm vs 14 nm||7 nm vs 10 nm||5 nm vs 7nm|
|-60% Power or +40% Perf||-40% Power or +27% Perf||-35% Power or +20% Perf||-20% Power or +10% Perf|
We believe Samsung’s 5-nanometer node is the second-generation 7 nm process Samsung presented at last year’s VLSI.
VLSI 2018: Samsung’s 2nd Gen 7nm, EUV Goes HVM
VLSI 2018: Samsung’s 11nm nodelet, 11LPP
VLSI 2018: Samsung’s 8nm 8LPP, a 10nm extension
Their 5 nm node re-introduces single diffusion breaks (SDB) and possibly mixed diffusion break (MDB) which they now call Smart Diffusion Break (SDB). This node is largely design-rule compatible with their 7 nm design, putting most of the effort squarely on transistor recharacterization rather than redesign.
|Samsung Technology Comparison|
|Fin||2nd Gen||3rd Gen||4th Gen||5th Gen|
|Gate||–||1st Gen||2nd Gen||3rd Gen|
|S/D Eng||2nd Gen||3rd Gen||4th Gen||5th Gen|
|SDB||1st Gen||2nd Gen||–||2nd Gen||3rd Gen|
|Gate Stack||–||1st Gen||2nd Gen||3rd Gen|
In terms of density, Samsung is reporting up to 25% increase in logic area efficiency through standard cell architectural improvements. We estimate the density at around 112/106 MTr/mm² depending on whether they are using a 54 or 57 nanometers poly pitch (both numbers were thrown around).
In addition to the 5-nanometer node, Samsung mentioned a new 6-nanometer node. At one time Samsung had a 6LPE on their roadmap but has long been removed. In fact, no 6 nm was mentioned at the Samsung Foundry Forums late last year either. Not much is known about this node other than they have had a custom tape-out on it. It’s worth noting that TSMC has also announced a new 6-nanometer node today which offers an 18% logic density improvement over their 7 nm node.
Samsung’s current EUV-based process nodes are being manufactured at their S3 line in Hwaseong, Korea. The company plans on expanding its capacity to a new EUV line in Hwaseong. The construction project is expected to complete by the second half of the year with production ramping up for next year.