Meet “Thetis”: Samsung’s 2nm Advance in Mobile Processing

This year, Samsung will introduce its second-generation 3nm process technology, known as SF3 (3GAP), which offers a 20% to 30% improvement in efficiency and density compared to the 4nm FinFET process. Rumor has it that the Exynos 2500 will be Samsung’s first smartphone SoC manufactured using the SF3 process and, like the Exynos 2400, it will likely employ fan-out wafer-level packaging (FoWLP).

Exynos Galaxy S Series

According to Wccftech, Samsung is also developing 2nm process technology, which it plans to apply to future Exynos chips. The 2nm chip is rumored to be codenamed “Thetis,” named after the sea goddess in Greek mythology, mother of Achilles. This will likely be Samsung’s first application processor (AP) developed using the 2nm process.

Samsung plans to begin mass production of “Thetis” chips in the second half of 2025, with these chips being integrated into the Galaxy S26 series smartphones, expected to launch in 2026. Previously, Samsung unveiled its process technology roadmap through 2027, outlining the development plan following the mass production of SF3E (3nm GAA, 3GAE) in June 2022. The roadmap indicates that the development of SF2 technology will be completed by the second quarter of 2024, with mass production starting in 2025. This timeline aligns with the schedule for the “Thetis” chip.

Industry experts believe that if Samsung successfully commercializes the 2nm process AP, it will not only create a competitive landscape with companies like Apple, Qualcomm, and MediaTek but also narrow the technological gap with TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company). Additionally, it could enhance Samsung’s foundry business by attracting more orders. However, considering the challenges faced with the 3nm process, finding appropriate solutions to improve yield rates is crucial for Samsung.

A more pragmatic issue is that Samsung could reduce its reliance on Qualcomm APs. Reports have indicated that in the fourth quarter of 2023, Samsung’s orders accounted for 40% of Qualcomm’s revenue, making Samsung its largest single customer, largely due to the widespread use of Qualcomm APs in the Galaxy S23/24 series. For Samsung, this reliance has been a significant burden, impacting the profit margins of its smartphones.