SAN FRANCISCO—Officials from Samsung Semiconductor Inc. (SSI) detailed the company’s foundry roadmap, which includes expanding FD-SOI production and offering low-cost alternatives to existing FinFET technologies.
Perhaps the most relevant announcement is the development of a low-cost 14nm FinFET process, 14nm LPC. The company has already shipped more than half a million 14nm wafers and expanded the process to included networking/server and automotive applications, but Samsung’s Kelvin Low said he expects next-generation applications to move to the lower-cost option.
“There are always concerns about trading off cost versus performance,” Low, Samsung’s senior director of foundry marketing, told EE Times. “LPC has the same PDK of [14nm] LPP. The number of steps has been reduced…That allows us to achieve a lower cost point on manufacturing and we decide to share that with our customers.”
Samsung will also offer an RF add-on to 14LPC this year. Low wouldn’t elaborate on just what steps had been reduced, or discuss the cost differential between 14nm LPP (Low-Power Plus—the 2nd generation of the company’s 14nm FinFET process technology) and LPC processes. The lower-cost option will be available sometime this year.
Low added that Samsung will release a 10nm LPP process technology that offers a 10% performance boost from the first-generation 10nm LPE (Low-Power Early) process. Although the foundry has begun work on a 7LPP node with “competitive PPA scaling,” Low said there is confusion about 10nm and 7nm.
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