The flagship chips from MediaTek and Qualcomm will employ TSMC’s 3nm technology rather than Samsung’s

To manufacture semiconductor chips, big companies like Qualcomm, Nvidia, Apple, AMD, and MediaTek rely on TSMC’s fabrication technologies. Some companies also rely on Samsung to manufacture chips for mid-range models. It appears that some of them will not be moving from TSMC to Samsung Foundry’s 3nm process anytime soon, which is something the company was expecting would happen.

Previously, some reports indicated that Samsung Foundry and TSMC’s 3nm process could be used by Qualcomm to manufacture the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chips next year. In accordance with a new report shared by the China Times, TSMC’s 2nd-generation 3nm process (N3E) could be used by Qualcomm and MediaTek to fabricate the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 and the Dimensity 9400.

Compared to the N3B (first-generation 3nm) technique that Apple is currently utilizing to create its A17 Pro processor for the iPhone 15 Pro series, this new technology will deliver gains in both performance and efficiency. In the past, a report indicated that the first-generation 3nm process by TSMC offered a 55% yield rate.

Given this, the cost of manufacturing one wafer based on multiple chips was estimated to be around $20,000. Chip clients are charged regardless of the yield. Reportedly, 60,000 to 70,000 wafers are produced by TSMC per month using the 3nm process. It is expected to reach 100,000 wafers by 2024’s end. TSMC’s 3nm process currently generates 5% of its income, but next year that percentage is expected to increase to 10%.

Samsung Foundry has no big clients yet

By 2030, Samsung Foundry hopes to use cutting-edge technologies to reverse its reputation and defeat TSMC. In contrast to FinFET, which TSMC utilizes in its 3nm process, it makes use of a novel transistor architecture known as GAA (Gate All Around), which is claimed to be more power efficient. However, the company has no big clients. A rumor previously suggested that the company could get orders from AMD and Qualcomm for its 3nm and 4nm processes.

In addition to this, System LSI is working on the Exynos 2500 processor. Reportedly, it is more efficient than older versions of the Exynos chips. Some reports even point out that it will be Samsung’s Dream Chip. It is expected to launch next year.

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