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Samsung's 7nm Process May Be Behind the Schedule

By Korbin Lan
Published: Oct 12,2016

TAIPEI, Taiwan - According to news from Taiwan's Economic Daily News, progress on Samsung's 7nm production is behind schedule and mass production will be impossible for them next year. However, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will carry out risk trials for 7nm products in Q1 of next year and expect to do commercial production during Q4 of next year so that it will contribute to their revenue in 2018.

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Economic Daily News cited viewpoints in the semiconductor equipment industry and pointed out that Samsung originally estimated that during the second half of next year they would complete the installation of equipment and carry out 7 nm mass production. However, semiconductor equipment manufacturers disclosed that the progress of Samsung's 7nm research and development is seriously behind schedule and it may be impossible for them to put their plan to accept orders into practice next year.

After Samsung was replaced by TSMC for all of the OEM orders for Apple's A10 processors, they decided to shift their focus to 7 nm for use in semiconductor mass production using ASML, newly developed EUV lighting, and lithography equipment.

On the other hand, TSMC's 7 nm progress is proceeding smoothly. TSMC President and co-CEO Mark Liu stated that according to TSMC's 10 nm production schedule, they will begin mass production in Q1 of next year. They are also planning to carry out risk testing for their 7 nm products in Q1 of next year. TSMC estimates that 7 nm technology will contribute to their profits in Q1 of 2018 and that they will become a foundry fab as the leading global provider of 7 nm OEM manufacturing.

In addition, TSMC is currently actively involved in 5 nm research and development and have a R&D team composed of nearly 400 people. They are also investing in research and development of more advanced 3-nanometer processes as wells as 1 nm processes.

(TR/ Phil Sweeney)

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