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Samsung's System Semiconductor Business Winging for Rebirth
System Semiconductors
Samsung's System Semiconductor Business Winging for Rebirth
  • By Jack H. Park
  • January 13, 2015, 06:34
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There is much anticipation for Samsung Electronics' system semiconductor business, which has encountered unfavorable factors in recent years. In the foundry area, large customer Apple broke away from the Korean tech giant owing to patent disputes. Samsung was also displaced by Qualcomm in the AP market due to problems with production costs. Last year, the tech company even operated at a loss.

However, many in the industry are saying that the prospect for this year is bright thanks to the production process of 14 nm FinFETs. The production process can make 14 nm FinFETs consume 35 percent less electricity and improve product performance by 20 percent compared to 20 nm planar technology. It is also possible to reduce the size of the chip up to 15 percent. Hence, 14 nm FinFET technology is widely acknowledged as an optimized solution for mobile devices with limited space and battery life.

Therefore, Samsung is expected to be in an advantageous position in its competition with top-ranked Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company for 10 nm class APs, and to ultimately dominate the global foundry market. The Korean firm reportedly began to mass produce 10 nm class chipsets at the end of last year.

An improvement in the competitiveness of its own mobile AP and modem using the production process of 14 nm FinFETs is likely to lead to Samsung's better performance. In November 2014, the octa-core Exynos 7 processor produced by 20 nm planar technology was used in the Galaxy Note 4. Through much upgraded 14 nm FinFET technology, the firm is expected to mass produce 64 bit APs and increase its global market share. Currently, Samsung is preparing for the mass-production of processors based on 14 nm FinFET technology.

On top of that, the Korean company is likely to benefit greatly from controversy surrounding overheating problems of Qualcomm's snapdragon 810. Some say that the octa-core Exynos 7 processor will be used in more than 90 percent of the Galaxy S6, which is scheduled to be released in the first quarter of this year.