Gap In Technologies Is Widening By The Effect Of 14-Nano FinFET

Samsung’s foundry business is growing as Samsung becomes in charge of producing Qualcomm’s mobile application processor (AP) following Apple. As there is a high chance of a surplus in System LSI in the second quarter, Samsung plans to increase its surplus radiply through its 14-nano FinFET process.

Samsung Electronics is planning to produce Qualcomm’s next-generation flagship model ‘Snapdragon 820’ through its 14-nano FinFET process. Qualcomm is currently providing Snapdragon 808 and 810 to the market.

Samsung Electronics enjoyed a lot of benefits from 14-nano FinFET process as it helped Samsung win a contract with Qualcomm’s chip following Apple’s AP ‘A9’. Although it lost ‘A8’ production supply to TSMC, and all System LSI’s results turn into a deficit due to an aftermath of lawsuit with Apple, it was able to succeed in widening the gap in technologies by rapidly mass-producing 14-nano FinFET.

TSMC is testing mass-production through 16-nano FinFET Plus process, which indicates that its goal is to start mass-production by end of the year.

As Samsung succeeded in winning a contract with Qualcomm’s large supply following Apple, there’s a great hope that System LSI’s results will turn into surplus in second quarter.

System LSI business department made a deficit about 1.1billion dollars(1.2trillion KRW) last year. Stock market is estimating that even though it made 100~200 million dollars of deficit last first quarter; it will make about plus or minus 200 million dollars of surplus in this second quarter. Market is forecasting that LSI business will make about 1 billion dollars of surplus within a year.

Samsung Electronics quickly raised System LSI’s business’s competitiveness through 14-nano FINFET. While there was a controversy about Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 performance, Samsung corresponded with its own Exynos, which eventually became a catalyst of expanding its AP business. Foundry business turned its business relationship with Apple back to normal through its technical skills.

Samsung Electronics is showing a lot of confidence about its FinFET process. It is concentrating on stabilizing mass-production of 14-nano FinFET and planning to mass-produce 10-nano FinFET starting at the end of next year. This shows that it is planning to widen its gap in technology to TSMC.

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TSMC’s counterattack is hard to ignore too. Although it planned 16-nano FinFET Plus process, it is currently in a risk production stage to produce and it is planning to formally start its mass-production end of this year.

TSMC will start its risk production of 7-nano process starting from early 2017.

“We started developing 7-nano process with our main clients last year. If we start mass-production during fourth quarter of 2017, then it is safe to say that we’ll start contributing to the sales starting from 2018.” Mark Liu of TSMC’s co-CEO said about its plan for 7-nano process.

It is also planning on 10-nano FinFET process. It will expand its 10-nano process production starting from a fourth quarter of next year and it will contribute to the sales starting from early 2017. Although it lost to Samsung Electronics in preparing for 16-nano FinFET Plus process, it is starting its mass-production of 10-nano process at the same time.

“Depending on TSMC’s preparation, Apple can adjust the amount of production at any time. Variables such as TSMC’s correspondence to 16-nano and preparation for 10-nano always exist.” A person in this business circle said about TSMC’s preparation.

Staff Reporter Bae,Okjin |