Samsung's 3nm GAA node has yield rates of around 70 percent

nanoguy

Posts: 1,339   +27
Staff member
In context: Samsung's semiconductor division made some mistakes in the recent past that prompted companies like Qualcomm and Nvidia to go to TSMC for their chip manufacturing needs. These were Samsung's two largest foundry customers, and the company seems determined to bring them back with its 3nm GAA process technology. With better yields on this new node and TSMC busy making Apple silicon on N3, the Korean giant may be able to attract some new customers, too.

Like Intel, Samsung has been struggling to find customers for its 3nm GAA process node. This can be partly explained by TSMC cutting prices for 3nm FinFET wafers, which were hovering around the $20,000 mark last year. That said, Apple has secured the entire initial supply of N3 wafers, creating an opportunity for TSMC competitors to attract some orders from other big clients like Nvidia, Qualcomm, IBM, MediaTek, and Baidu.

Samsung has been courting these companies to become their supplier for advanced chips using its 3nm GAA process technology. The company started producing 3nm wafers at its Hwaseong facilities last summer, months before rival TSMC. Meanwhile, Intel's Foundry Services division is playing catch up and plans to start mass-producing chips on an Intel 3 node sometime in 2024.

Global foundry market share by revenue | Counterpoint Research

During a recent investor call, the Korean tech giant said it achieved stable yields on 3nm GAA wafers through the first three months of this year, but didn't offer any figures. Local publication FNNews reports the company has achieved yields of around 60 to 70 percent. This represents a significant improvement compared to a year ago when Samsung was only able to achieve yield rates of around 10 to 20 percent.

For reference, TSMC's N3 yields are estimated at around 55 percent, which is why Apple was able to negotiate a price between $16,000 and $17,000 per wafer for A17 and M3 chipsets. The Taiwanese chipmaker believes it can improve yields by five percentage points every quarter, so Samsung must also improve at a similar pace if it wants to draw potential customers to its 3nm GAA process node.

Now read: There is TSMC and there's everybody else, can Samsung or Intel catch up?

Speaking of attracting customers, Samsung Electronics president Kye-Hyun Kyung said during a recent interview that he can't disclose their names, though he noted the list is growing and almost all big companies have shown interest in Samsung's 3nm GAA tech. He also remains confident the company can overtake TSMC and become the world's biggest chipmaker in the next five years.

For now, Samsung's top priority is to revitalize demand for NAND and DRAM chips, as surplus inventory coupled with low overall sales had led to profit diving to a 14-year low in the first quarter of this year. For the long term, the chipmaker plans to build the world's largest chip center, a massive undertaking that will take two decades and no less than $230 billion in capital expenditures to complete.

Permalink to story.

 

Kashim

Posts: 373   +664
nVidia's last generation (series 30) video cards were based on Samsung chips and they were absolute garbage. Power hunger space heaters that I skipped entirely. I hope they made massive improvements since then or they will be dead in the water.
 

noel24

Posts: 884   +1,240
nVidia's last generation (series 30) video cards were based on Samsung chips and they were absolute garbage. Power hunger space heaters that I skipped entirely. I hope they made massive improvements since then or they will be dead in the water.
Somehow, with back then "garbage" and expensive Samsung litography, and then-expensive, now cheaper GDDR6(X), and falling cost of other components in post-pandemic recession, they decided to have the same price/frame performance with 40XX compared to 30XX series, which tells Me that nVidia makes more margins while technology improves and not planning to give You any presents with performance per dollar with any future generation. And They will even postpone production until You buy Their overpriced mining hardware.
So... Happy waiting!
To activate the free market, a lot of consumers must buy AMD (or Intel), like happened with AMD vs.Intel CPUs.
I laugh when I read Those comments, even from established Youtubers, that They hope AMD lowering prices will make nVidia drop prices, cause They hope for cheaper DLSS.
 

WhiteLeaff

Posts: 243   +417
Somehow, with back then "garbage" and expensive Samsung litography, and then-expensive, now cheaper GDDR6(X), and falling cost of other components in post-pandemic recession, they decided to have the same price/frame performance with 40XX compared to 30XX series, which tells Me that nVidia makes more margins while technology improves and not planning to give You any presents with performance per dollar with any future generation. And They will even postpone production until You buy Their overpriced mining hardware.
So... Happy waiting!
To activate the free market, a lot of consumers must buy AMD (or Intel), like happened with AMD vs.Intel CPUs.
I laugh when I read Those comments, even from established Youtubers, that They hope AMD lowering prices will make nVidia drop prices, cause They hope for cheaper DLSS.
Expensive? Samsung generally charges less than TSMC. 8nm isn't junk, it's just neither comparable nor competitive with TSMC's 7nm. Samsung had limited capacity 7nm LP and 6nm that had similar density to competitors
 

Porkous

Posts: 206   +65
How is the rest of the world investing?
Samsung would take the lead in 10 years for certain. While TSMC is willing to invest in too expensive fabs instead to follow it's success strategy.


"South Korea's government will add $19 billion for R&D, $275 billion for chip packaging, and $76 billion for infrastructure as part of the plan."



 

zamroni111

Posts: 408   +228
nVidia's last generation (series 30) video cards were based on Samsung chips and they were absolute garbage. Power hunger space heaters that I skipped entirely. I hope they made massive improvements since then or they will be dead in the water.
but I guess samsung gave cheap price that made $499 3070 possible
 

Kashim

Posts: 373   +664
but I guess samsung gave cheap price that made $499 3070 possible
Maybe they did, or maybe nVidia just got much more greedy this time around. They saw how high prices got with all the crypto nonsense and now they will do everything they can to try and keep them there forever.
 

IzzyBAIDJI

Posts: 12   +5
nVidia's last generation (series 30) video cards were based on Samsung chips and they were absolute garbage. Power hunger space heaters that I skipped entirely. I hope they made massive improvements since then or they will be dead in the water.

How were they garbage?
the 3080 performs similar to the 6800xt for the same power draw. the same goes for the 3060ti and the 6700xt, same performance and same power consumption (around 200w).
Only the cash grab products during the mining craze were garbage such as the 3090ti, 3080ti (horrible performance relative to their power consumption).
AFAIK AMD did the same thing too with the 6950xt and 6750xt, 100w more than their non 50 counterparts for around 5-8% more performance.
The ultimate garbage award however goes to the 100w 6500xt which performed similar to a 115w gtx1060 from 5 or 6 years ago.