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  • Samsung Foundry Debuts 10nm Wafer!

    Novobits SPX Wiki-10nm-wafer.jpgThe Samsung Smart, Connected Lifestyle event was last night at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco. Getting into San Francisco was no picnic with all of the roadwork and new building construction. We even saw people drive up on the sidewalk to get around car clogs. It really was crazy but definitely worth it after seeing the first 10nm wafer!

    At the same event last year Samsung showed a 14nm wafer promising production chips in 2015. It was met with serious doubts and I must admit that I was one of those doubters. 28nm was a serious challenge and Samsung skipped 20nm for the foundry business. Samsung did however deliver 20nm memory so I’m sure yield learning for 14nm began there. Long story short, Samsung delivered 14nm chips well within the first half of 2015 which was a VERY big step in building foundry trust, absolutely.

    Also Read: The Curious Case of Samsung's Shannon Chips

    Novobits SPX Wiki-hong-hao-samsung.jpgThe Senior VP of Samsung Foundry, Hong Hao, commented that Samsung has now brought competition back to the foundry business. He also committed to delivering 10nm chips in 2016 to which I have no doubt. Hong is an interesting man, my beautiful wife and I spent time with him before and after his presentation. Hong came to Silicon Valley from China in the 1980s via a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. From there he worked for Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, LSI Logic, and Samsung with a couple of startups in between. At Samsung, Hong started with SoC development and is now leading the foundry effort. Since we both spent our careers in Silicon Valley and have kids the same age it was a very comfortable conversation, even for my wife.

    The food was great by the way. They wrapped just about everything in bacon and put it on a stick. It was truly heavenly! The presentations were kept to 10 minutes so there was plenty of time to talk before and after.

    Here is the latest Samsung Foundry elevator pitch:

    “By concentrating on the most advanced process nodes, Samsung’s foundry business has grown into one of the premier manufacturers of low-power, high-performance SoCs for the fabless semiconductor industry. With considerable investment in R&D and capacity, Samsung Foudnry is poised to maintain its leadership position well into the future.”

    • 14LPE: 1st generation FinFET, focusing on early time-to-market requirements
    • 14LPP: enhanced 2nd generation FinFET with 14% additional performance or 14% lower power than LPE
    • 28LPS: polySION gate technology for early adopters and cost sensitive applications
    • 28LPP: low-leakage, cost-optimized HKMG for greater power-efficiency in mobile and other consumer electronic devices
    • 28LPP-RF: advanced RF functionality built right into the SoC design, with the low-leakage benefits of 28LPP.
    • 28LPH: high-performance HKMG process for high-end performance HKMG process for high-end application specific applications in the compute and networking segments
    • 28FD-SOI: cost-optimized ultra-low-power to high-performance designs for faster, cooler, simpler SoCs

    And here is a quick Samsung Electronics update and a parting picture of the San Francisco skyline:Novobits SPX Wiki-sf-skyline.jpg

    Samsung Electronics:

    • Posted revenue of $196B for 2014
    • Employs over 307,000 people
    • Rated as 7th Best Global Brand in 2014
    • More than 70,000 employees across 36 R&D centers (23% of workforce)
    • Offices spanning 84 countries worldwide
    • Fast Company rated Samsung #2 most innovative company in IoT


    Also Read: Who Will Lead at 10nm?