Samsung begins production in new EUV line for 7-nm chips

The new V1 line will triple Samsung's EUV capacity for chips that are 7nm or smaller by the end of the year.

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Samsung has begun mass production for its new EUV line at its plant in Hwaseong, South Korea.

Image: Samsung

Samsung has begun mass production of its new extreme ultraviolet (EUV) semiconductor line that will make chips that are 7nm or smaller for clients, the company announced.

The new V1 line at the tech giant's plant in Hwaseong, South Korea is the first to be solely dedicated to EUV lithography technology.

It will produce chips using process nodes of 7nm and below, Samsung said. It will also produce mobile chips with its 7nm and 6nm processes and has plans to eventually produce chips as small as 3nm.

The company broke ground for V1 back in February 2018 and has so far invested $6 billion into the line.

Samsung will ramp up production for the V1 line, and coupled with its S3 line, it expects to triple its production of chips that are 7nm or smaller compared to last year, the company said.

The EUV process uses ultraviolet light with short wavelengths to draw design pattern on wafers. According to Samsung, this allows for more detailed and finer designs compared to previous lithography technology that used argon fluoride lasers.

The South Korean tech giant developed the now commercialised 7nm process in 2017 and 5nm process in April 2019.

The company shared its process design kit for its 3nm process in May 2019.

Samsung has been competing fiercely with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the market leader in contract chip making, to woo clients such as Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Apple. Samsung currently has six lines dedicated to contract chip making, also called Samsung Foundry. 

Samsung has vowed to invest $120 billion into logic chip businesses such as contract chip making and processors by 2030 to become the market leader.

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