We had recently reported that Qualcomm had planned to partner with TSMC for its next flagship processor based on the 7nm fabrication node. In what seemed like a rebuttal rumours emerged regarding Samsung ditching Qualcomm Snapdragon processors in their upcoming flagship(s). And today fresh information regarding the smartphone processor industry emerged concerning Samsung’s plans to go ahead alone and introduce chips based on the 6nm lithography node by 2019.
This is according to a report in The Investor, which states that the Korean electronics giant has set internal goals of producing chips on the 6nm manufacturing node as early as 2019. This is apparently to counter Qualcomm’s shift to TSMC, concurrently Samsung is also reducing investments in 7nm fabrication technology. The report cites sources within the industry stating that Samsung plans to acquire two units of ASML’s next-generation photolithography machines this year and seven more next year. ASML is the world’s premier manufacturer of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry and their machines are essential in the design and production of silicon chips. This move will allow Samsung to outpace TSMC and any other manufacturers who are moving to the 6nm production node.
This is not the first time that Samsung has skipped a particular fabrication node to focus on another process, with the company notably having forgone 20nm fabrication to focus on the 14nm market. The Korean behemoth is likely to produce next year’s chip orders based on 8nm fabrication tech which is a refinement of the existing 10nm fabrication process in use for the current generation of Exynos processors.
The move to skip one production node might hurt Samsung’s short-term outlook but will push it to the forefront of the fabrication industry come 2019 barring any undue issues/production problems on the new 6nm technology.
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