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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.