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June 13, 2024

Samsung reveals plan to produce AI chips faster with new turnkey foundry service

AI Solutions will be Samsung’s new platform to speed up production of AI chips amid surge in demand.

By Livia Giannotti

Samsung is establishing a new turnkey service for manufacturing AI chips. It will see all of its production processes brought together under one roof to ensure quicker delivery and keep up with the growing demand for AI chips.

Samsung Electronics is trying to keep up with rivals amid AI chip race. (Photo by Sung Yoon Jo via Shutterstock)

At its annual Foundry Forum, Samsung revealed plans to adopt advanced foundry technology by 2027. The world’s biggest memory chip maker will offer a one-stop shop for AI chip manufacturing by combining its memory, foundry and packaging businesses.

According to the tech giant, merging the AI chip fabrication services will cut the total turnaround time for delivery by 20%, as it will also streamline supply chain management and reduce time to market. 

During Wednesday’s conference, Samsung also revealed improvements to its process technology roadmap, announcing new 2nm and 4nm process nodes, SF2Z and SF4U, two improved variants of already existing nodes. SF2Z will use backside power delivery network (BSPDN) technology, which places power rails on the backside of the wafer to improve power delivery, resulting in better power efficiency, performance, and area (PPA) as well as reduced voltage drop. Meanwhile, SF4U will enhance PPA by incorporating optical shrink techniques.

The company also mentioned the maturity of its gate-all-around (GAA) technology, an innovative transistor architecture which keeps the mass production of advanced chips affordable while allowing for better chip performance and lower power consumption.

“At a time when numerous technologies are evolving around AI, the key to its implementation lies in high-performance, low-power semiconductors,” said Siyoung Choi, the head of Foundry Business at Samsung. He added: “Alongside our proven GAA process optimised for AI chips, 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.”

Choid said the company expects the global chip industry revenue to grow to $778 billion by 2028, boosted by AI chips, Reuters reported. The South Korean company added that the sales of its contract manufacturing business have increased by 80% over the past year, as a result of its efforts to diversify its customer base and application areas.

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Samsung is trying to keep up with rivals amid AI chip race

Wednesday’s announcement at the Samsung Foundry Forum comes at a time when Samsung is trying to prove it can catch up to rivals in the AI chip market, in particular SK Hynix and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).

Last month, the South Korean firm replaced its semiconductor chief “to strengthen future competitiveness by renewing the atmosphere internally and externally” in what the company referred to as a “chip crisis”. 

AI Solutions, the name given to Samsung’s sped-up delivery process for AI chips, is set to compete against SK hynix and TSMC (which is working with similar BSPDN technology) to produce chips for companies such as Nvidia and AMD.

Read more: What is an AI factory?

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