Samsung Electronics officially announced a road map for a 10-nanometer-class production process and specific measures to support its customers, sending love letters to global fabless semiconductor companies.
According to industry sources on July 26, Samsung published a road map for a 10-nanometer-class production process on July 21 (local time) through its local subsidiary in the U.S. It is the first time for the tech giant to release a specific plan for introducing a 10-nanometer-class production process and for supporting customers.
Samsung is planning to begin a manufacturing process that can be utilized in the design of mobile devices, consumer electronics, and networking chips in late 2016, using 3rd-gen FinFET transistors. The production process of 14-nm FinFETs has only been used in application processors (APs).
The company has focused on securing semiconductor foundries from last year. A source in the semiconductor industry explained, "Samsung forged partnerships with global semiconductor foundries by transferring its 14-nanometer-class process technology in an effort to secure customers like Qualcomm or Apple."
Samsung has stabilized its 14-nanometer-class production process for the first time, and has been asked to produce next-gen chips by Qualcomm and Apple so far this year. However, its outlook is unclear. Previously, Spreadtrum Communications, the largest fabless semiconductor company in China, signed a contract with Intel for consignment productions. Last year, the U.S. chipmaker made a large-scale investment in Chinese technology conglomerate Tsinghua Unigroup that owns Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics. Some in the industry are raising the possibility that Nvidia, the world's largest graphics processor unit producer, will also switch its semiconductor chipset supplier to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.