​Samsung develops 8-nanometer foundry process

Samsung has completed development of its 8-nanometer foundry process and stressed that it was continuing to cooperate with its biggest client, Qualcomm.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Samsung Electronics has completed the development of its 8-nanometre foundry process, the company said.

The process is based on the second generation 10-nanometre process, or 10-nanometre Low Power Plus. It is 10 percent more energy efficient and takes up 10 percent less space, the firm said.

Called 8-nanometer Low Power Plus (8LPP), it is a stop-gap before moving to the 7-nanometer process, which will rollout next year.

Taiwanese rival TSMC is considered ahead in 7-nanometer, but Samsung's extreme ultra violet lithography technology is superior, it has previously said.

The South Korean tech giant stressed that it was cooperating with Qualcomm, one of its biggest clients for making the Snapdragon series of mobile processors, for the 8-nanometer process, as it did for 10-nanometer and 14-nanometer.

Qualcomm said in a statement that 8LPP was based on the proven 10LPP process, which will allow a quick ramp-up in production.

There have been rumours that the US chip giant will jump ship to TSMC for the 7-nanometer in next year's Snapdragon offerings. Qualcomm has mainly used Samsung's 14-nanometer and 10-nanometer processes for earlier generation mobile processors.

It is more than likely now that Qualcomm will be using 8-nanometer for early offerings next year; 8-nanometer is cheaper than the 7-nanometer, but the boost in speed and power consumption will not affect the customer experience.

Update 1:30pm KST October 18, 2017: A Samsung spokesman confirmed that Qualcomm will be using its 8-nanometer process but declined to comment further.


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