Beyond 5nm: Samsung Takes Aim at Chip Supremacy with SF3

In June 2022, Samsung commenced mass production of the SF3E (3nm GAA), introducing a novel Gate-All-Around (GAA) architecture in transistor technology. This year, Samsung plans to unveil the second generation of its 3nm process technology, named SF3 (3GAP). It will incorporate the “Second-Generation Multi-Bridge Channel Field Effect Transistor (MBCFET)”, further refining the original SF3E. Additionally, an enhanced performance variant, the SF3P (3GAP+), is anticipated, particularly suitable for fabricating high-performance chips.

According to media reports, Samsung has initiated trial production using its second-generation 3nm process, testing chip performance and reliability. The objective is to elevate the yield rate above 60% within six months and achieve mass production in the latter half of the year. This represents a significant milestone for both Samsung and the industry at large. Through SF3, Samsung aims to challenge TSMC’s advanced processes by 2024.

Reports suggest that Samsung intends to first employ the SF3 in a chip for a wearable device, possibly in the Galaxy Watch 7. Furthermore, Samsung plans to use SF3 in the Exynos 2500, which will be featured in next year’s Galaxy S25 series smartphones. Samsung views the new SF3 as offering greater design flexibility due to its ability to utilize MBCFET devices of various widths.

Currently, Samsung is also refining its 4nm process. In addition to the already operational SF4P (4LPP+), it plans to introduce the SF4X (4HPC) for high-performance CPUs and GPUs. Meanwhile, TSMC is expected to launch an enhanced 3nm process known as N3P.