Samsung Lines Up First Server Customer For 3nm Fabsby Anton Shilov on October 12, 2023 1:00 PM EST
Although Samsung Foundry was the first contract fab to formally start mass production of chips on a 3 nm-class process, so far, the company's latest process has largely been relegated to producing tiny cryptocurrency mining chips. But it looks like things will start picking up for Samsung's foundry business soon, as this week it was announced that the company has landed a more substantial order which will see the Samsung make a server-grade system-in-package (SiP) with HBM memory for an unknown client.
Per this week's press releases, Samsung Foundry is set to produce a server-grade processor with HBM memory that is set to be designed by ADTechnology, a contract chip developer from South Korea, for an American company. For now, details on the chip are light, so all we know about the 3 nm-based datacenter product is that it will will use 2.5D packaging in conjunction with HBM memory. All of which points to a high-end system-on-chip (SoC) – or rather a system-in-package (SiP).
"This 3nm project will be one of the largest semiconductor products in the industry," said Park Joon-Gyu, chief executive of AD Technology. "This 3nm and 2.5D design experience will be a significant differentiation factor between other companies and AD Technology. We will do our utmost to deliver the best design results to our customers."
Meanwhile, it is unclear which of Samsung Foundry's 3 nm-class process technologies the company is set to use for the project. Currently the company is producing cryptocurrency mining ASICs using its SF3E process technology, which is the initial version of Samsung's gate-all-around (GAA) manufacturing tech.
The company is set to roll-out an enhanced SF3 process technology next year. This version of the node provides additional design flexibility, which is enabled by varying nanosheet channel widths of the GAA device within the same cell type. All of this will, in turn, improve the performance, power, and area characteristics of SF3 compared to SF3E, making it more suitable for server designs. Yet, the company is also prepping SP3P technology with performance enhancements for 2025, which is likely to be even better for server-grade silicon.
"We are pleased to announce our 3nm design collaboration with AD Technology," said Jung Ki-Bong, Vice President of Samsung Electronics Foundry Business Development team. "This project will set a good precedent in the collaboration program between Samsung Electronics Foundry Division and our ecosystem partners, and Samsung Electronics Foundry Division will strengthen our cooperation with partners to provide the best quality to our customers."