Samsung’s 3nm GAAFET process node may be postponed to 2024

In 2020, Samsung announced that it has overcome the key technology of the 3nm process node GAAFET all-around gate transistor process and is expected to officially launch a new process in 2022, and at the IEEE International Integrated Circuit Conference in March this year, the relevant details of the process were introduced.

According to Samsung, the process node is called 3GAE, and its transistor structure allows designers to precisely tune it by adjusting the width of the transistor channel to achieve high performance or low power consumption. Wider flakes can achieve higher performance at higher power, while thinner/narrower flakes can reduce power consumption and performance. Compared with the 7LPP process, 3GAE can increase performance by 30% under the same power consumption, or reduce power consumption by 50% under the same frequency, and the transistor density can be increased by up to 80%.

Samsung 3GAE
However, according to SemiAnalysis, the 3GAE process node using the new technology does not seem to be so smooth, and mass production has been postponed to 2024. If the situation is true, it means that Samsung will continue to lag behind TSMC in terms of manufacturing processes. Thanks to the use of new materials and new technologies, in accordance with TSMC’s plan, the 2nm process will be put into production in 2024.

At present, Intel’s research and development work on processes below 10nm is progressing slowly. It has already lagged behind TSMC and Samsung, and it is difficult to catch up in a short time. Samsung is regarded as the semiconductor manufacturer that has the most chance to catch up with TSMC, especially at the 3nm process node. The introduction of GAAFET all-around gate transistor technology earlier than TSMC (TSMC will not apply until 2nm process), which is considered to be the key to catching up.