Samsung vows to offer one-stop AI chip foundry solution to match TSMC

Choi Si-young, president and head of the foundry business at Samsung Electronics, delivers a keynote speech during an annual Samsung Foundry Forum in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday (local time). Courtesy of Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics will provide a comprehensive turnkey service that integrates its foundry (order-based chip production), memory chips, and advanced semiconductor packaging solutions as part of efforts to lead the AI era and catch up with foundry business leader TSMC, the Korean chip giant said Thursday.

On Wednesday (local time), Samsung held its annual Samsung Foundry Forum in San Jose, California, and unveiled its vision and technology roadmap in the AI era.

“As numerous technologies evolve around AI, the critical factor for its implementation lies in high-performance, low-power semiconductors,” Choi Si-young, president and head of foundry business at Samsung, said during the event.

Samsung’s advantage lies in its possession of foundry, memory, and advanced packaging businesses, strategically positioning it to offer customized services that cater to the specific needs of the AI era.

By leveraging synergies among those three business areas, Samsung seeks to offer an integrated AI solution with high performance, low power and high bandwidth, thereby simplifying customers’ supply chains and accelerating product launches.

The company added that chip design customers utilizing its integrated AI solution can reduce the time required for chip development and production by approximately 20 percent compared to working with separate foundry, memory and packaging companies.

To strengthen its foundry business, Samsung announced plans to introduce co-packaged optics (CPO) technology by 2027.

“We plan to introduce integrated, co-packaged optics (CPO) technology for high-speed, low-power data processing, providing our customers with the one-stop AI solutions they need to thrive in this transformative era,” Choi added.

At the event, Samsung also unveiled two new process nodes — SF2Z and SF4U — to meet the demands of customers seeking high-performance and low-power semiconductors.

Samsung said it will commence mass production of semiconductors using the 2-nanometer (nm) process in 2027, while the 4-nm SF4U process, which adds optical shrink to the existing approach, will begin mass production next year.

Chips produced using SF2Z not only offer enhanced power, efficiency, and area compared to existing 2nm processes but also substantially reduce the voltage drop phenomenon that destabilizes current flow, thereby optimizing the capabilities of high-performance computing designs, Samsung said.

Samsung also plans to begin mass production of chips using the 1.4-nm process in 2027. Additionally, it aims to start mass production of the second-generation 3-nm process in the second half of this year.

Industry experts regard the turnkey service as a distinctive strategy that only Samsung can execute, particularly as the distinctions between memory chip customers and foundry chip customers become increasingly blurred.

“Unlike in the past, where memory and foundry users operated separately, chipmakers like AMD now act as both foundry users 토토 and customers of HBM (high bandwidth memory),” Kim Young-gun, an analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities, said. “This is a business model that only Samsung Electronics can offer globally.”

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