NVIDIA to the Rescue? Samsung Lures Chip Giants with 2nm Discounts

Samsung and TSMC both plan to mass-produce the 2nm process by 2025, with Samsung aiming to achieve this milestone first. By accelerating its production timeline, Samsung hopes to outpace its rival and thereby gain a competitive edge in the next generation of semiconductor manufacturing. Despite vigorous efforts and proactive strategies recently employed by both Samsung and Intel, which intensified the competition in 2nm foundry services, indications suggest that TSMC is still likely to secure the majority of orders, maintaining a considerable advantage.

According to TrendForce, Samsung is contemplating offering discounts on 2nm orders to secure support from industry giants like NVIDIA, challenging TSMC’s dominant position. Samsung hopes to surpass TSMC in securing 2nm orders after approximately two years of adjustments.

Last June, Samsung mass-produced the SF3E (3nm GAA), introducing the novel GAA (Gate-All-Around) transistor architecture. Next year, Samsung plans to introduce the second-generation 3nm process technology, named SF3 (3GAP), which will utilize the “second-generation Multi-Bridge Channel FET (MBCFET)” for further optimization of the existing SF3E. Following this, an enhanced performance version, SF3P (3GAP+), more suitable for manufacturing high-performance chips, will be released. By 2025, Samsung is set to begin large-scale mass production of the SF2 (2nm) process.

Currently, Samsung’s yield rate for the 3nm GAA process is around 60%, still falling short of the 70% threshold. The instability of Samsung’s yield rate has led Qualcomm to cancel its dual foundry plans for the fourth-generation Snapdragon 8, relying entirely on TSMC for at least the next year. This change in strategy has been postponed to 2025. Yield rate remains Samsung’s primary challenge; unless this issue is resolved in the 2nm process, even with significant discounts and clear price advantages, it will be difficult for Samsung to attract substantial orders from major clients.