by Anton Shilov
05/10/2011 | 11:44 AM
Samsung Electronics, a leading maker of consumer electronics, memory and a major contract maker of semiconductors, said that it had managed to receive orders from tens of companies to produce chips using 28nm and 32nm process technologies. Samsung is on track to produce chips using latest fabrication technologies around the same time with industry leaders GlobalFoundries and TSMC.
"As of today, we have received 35 tape outs from our customers at 32nm and 28nm and many more are in the pipeline for tape out this year. Customers are anxious to capitalize on the benefits of HKMG higher performance with lower power consumption," said Ana Hunter, vice president of Samsung’s North American foundry services, in a blog post.
Even though customers of Samsung Electronics had submitted designs to the company, it is unclear when the mass production of chips using high-k metal gate (HKMG) 28nm (low power, LP) and 32nm (LP) fabrication processes will begin. It is more than likely that the first chips will be made already in 2011. Earlier this year Samsung indicated thatchips made at 28nm node could integrate four to six billion of transistors. Besides, later this year Samsung will begin test manufacturing at 20nm node.
Samsung began its foundry business over six years ago with a focus on advanced technology nodes. Thanks to an aggressive process technology roadmap in place, the company set out to compete in an industry that was already seeing some consolidation. At present Samsung Electronics is about to become one of the world's top three foundries along with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company as well as Globalfoundries.
As of last year, 45nm became the majority volume runner in Samsung's 300mm S Line in Giheung. The yield on this node has been "excellent", according to the company. Currently, new logic fab at Samsung's Austin, Texas facility line is on schedule with 45nm low-power process qualified and the expectation is that this fab will be producing about 40 000 wafers per month by the end of 2011.