Samsung Electronics has demonstrated its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) foundry technology, the state-of-the-art technology in the non-memory semiconductor field, to Japanese companies.
The company held Samsung Foundry Forum (SFF) 2019 Japan at Intercity Hall in Tokyo on Sept. 4 amid the Japanese government’s restrictions on exports of key semiconductor materials to Korea.
Despite the export curbs, a large number of people from fabless companies and partners in Japan attended the forum, Samsung Electronics said.
The Samsung Foundry Forum is an event through which Samsung Electronics introduces its foundry business roadmap and new technologies in major countries. The forum started in the United States in 2016, and since 2017, has been held in five regions -- Korea, the United States, China, Japan, and Europe.
Samsung Electronics introduced a 3-nanometer Gate-All-Around (GAA) process to be introduced next year and distributed a process design kit (PDK) to corporate customers. Samsung's 3-nm foundry process is a cutting-edge technology that can reduce chip areas by 45 percent compared to a 7-nm fin field effect transistor (FinFET) process, the latest volume production process, and can reduce power consumption by 50 percent and boost performance by 35 percent. Samsung Electronics began mass-production of 7-nm chips at its S3 Line in Hwaseong, Korea in April, and plans to complete the development of a 4-nm process within this year and the development of a 3-nm process next year.
In particular, Samsung Electronics explained the production stability of its EUV foundry process which was feared to face difficulties due to supply disruptions stemming from Japan's export restrictions against Korea.
In early July, Japan began to restrict exports of etching gas (high-purity hydrogen fluoride) and fluorine polyimide and photoresists. Samsung Electronics imports all of its photoresists from Japan. As a result, there has been concern about production disruptions at Samsung Electronics, the only company with an EUV volume production system in Korea. Last month, however, two photoresists export permits were issued for Samsung Electronics, allowing the global semiconductor leader to take a breather.