Samsung announced today that it has started production of next generation semiconductor products – EUV 7nm LPP Chips. The chips will be ready by the time of launch of next Galaxy S smart phone Galaxy S10. If 7nm sounds familiar to you it’s because two smartphone manufacturers Huawei and Apple have already launched their devices with the mentioned chip. Huawei was the first manufacturer to take the initiative and unveil the 7nm Kirin 980 that powers its flagship smartphone Mate 20 Pro but Apple was the first one to actually deliver the 7nm A12 Bionic chip to market via its iPhone X model.
So what does EUV 7nm LPP means? It is acronym of 7 nanometer Low power plus whereas EUV stands for extreme ultraviolet lithography technology. 7nm chips are faster, efficient and more powerful than the 10nm chips that power most of the 2018 flagships currently. Samsung Galaxy S9 and Note 9 are one of those phones. It utilizes extreme ultraviolet technology to perform photolithography process by using a light source with EUV wavelength. In the world of chip manufacturing, releasing finer circuits is important as it enables integration of more components inside a chip which helps build those with higher power and energy efficiency.
According to Samsung press release it can reduce the manufacturing cost for the chips. EUV uses 13.5nm wavelengths as compared to old 193nm wavelength light to expose silicon wafers. Earlier technology used argon fluoride immersion technologies that requires expensive multi patterning mask set. EUV would enable the use of a single mask to create a silicon wafer layer where ArF can require up to 4 masks to create the same layer. It will reduce the complexity for fewer layers and yields better results and would also reduce power consumption up to 50 percent and increase 40 percent in area efficiency higher performance.
Samsung has started its initial production at S3 fab in Hwaseong Korea. By 2020, Samsung expects to have a EUV dedicated line for customers needing high volume manufacturing of their next generation chip designs. The EUV technology is expected to increase the growth of other revolutionary technology products like 5G, AI and Internet of things. Semiconductor’s high performance and low power ability depend on the width of the circuits that are inserted in the limited space of the chips. EUV can realize more in-depth circuit pattern than the existing argon fluoride wavelength securing both high performance and productivity.