Samsung is ready to mass produce its third 3nm chip design as DRAM and NAND losses mount

Shawn Knight

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Staff member
Why it matters: Samsung this week shared its second quarter earnings report for the three-month period ending June 30, 2023. Revenue was down six percent quarter over quarter – mostly due to a decline in smartphone shipments – and the company reported a huge $3.4 billion operating loss, but there is a glimmer or two of hope on the horizon.

On page eight of its results and outlook report, Samsung said mass production of its third GAA (gate-all-around) product is going smoothly now that the company has stabilized its 3nm process. Samsung added that it is developing an improved process for 3nm based on its mass production experience with GAA.

Analysts with market intelligence firm Counterpoint Research said earlier this month that the smartphone industry experienced its eight consecutive quarter with a YoY decline in the most recent quarter. Memory chip makers have also had a hard row to hoe as of late.

TrendForce recently said it expects solid-state drive prices to dip an additional 13 percent in the third quarter. PC DRAM prices, however, have seemingly hit rock bottom. If you are in the market for the latter, now might be as good a time as any to pick up some RAM for next to nothing.

AnandTech noted that Samsung has been using its SF3E node (formerly known as 3GAE, 3nm gate-all-around early) to make chips for dedicated cryptocurrency miners for multiple outfits including MicroBot and PanSemi. A third crypto customer is also using Samsung's process, we understand, but the Korean tech giant did not mention any names.

As the publication highlights, producing chips for crypto miners is an excellent way for Samsung to test new fabrication processes in commercial applications. Even with a relatively high defect rate, yields are likely to be good enough to be viable for ASICs.

Samsung said it expects global demand for electronics to gradually recover in the second half of this year, leading to improved earnings from its component business.

Image credit: Fidel Fernando, Wu Yi

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Considering how much the "chip makers" (TSMC, Samsung, Intel, AMD etc) made during the
"pandemic" with over inflated GPU's and what not, you'd think it would have made up for what
they are losing now.
Good to see Samsung is competing with TSMC - assuming they are telling the truth - not sure rules in Korea for lying to shareholders. Now just Intel to make good all it's promises. Samsung did lose customers.

Nand etc has has been boom and bust for a long time -But with all these huge factories coming on line in next 5 to 15 years in USA , Europe, Korea , think TSMC has another planned - plus China doing it's thing - where is the market for all these.
Also wonder if USA DOD must have a strategic stock pile of memory chips - given not so many made in USA

Still imagine haven't reached peak Chip SOC design - must be some theoretical papers as best than can be achieved vs reality - like solar cells sunlight to energy - probably limited by huge number of "synapses" to "nodes" that make even simple dragonfly brains amazing