Samsung aims to make 1.4nm chips by 2027 as it races against TSMC

South Korean tech giant, Samsung, is reportedly aiming to develop the world’s most advanced semiconductors in five years, heating up competition with the global leader in chip-making, TSMC.

The conglomerate has drafted a roadmap of its chip production plans and will begin the manufacture of chips with a 2-nanometer process in 2025, and advance to a 1.4-nm process in 2027.

For the unversed, the nanometer figure is the size of each transistor on the chip, with a smaller transistor size yielding more powerful and efficient chips.

The processor in Apple iPhone 14 Pro and Pro max uses a 4nm chip.

Samsung began mass production of 3nm chips earlier this year. The company is looking to increase its foundry business in order to catch up with its Taiwanese rival TSMC.

After TSMC, which holds 52.9% of the market share by revenue, Samsung is the second-biggest foundry with a 17.3% share.

TSMC also began production of 3nm chips this year, with 2nm chip production scheduled to begin in 2025. Plans for mass production of 1.4nm chips have not been disclosed. 

The South Korean conglomerate’s ambitious plans come amidst a global economic downturn with signs of a slowdown in demand for chips.

From July to August, sales across the global chip industry fell 3.4%, as per the Semiconductor Industry Association.

However, the company aims to extend its production capacity for the most advanced chips by over three-fold by 2027 as compared to 2022, underlining its bullishness on future demand. For this, the firm is building another factory in Austin, Texas, that has a price tag of $17 billion.

The US is hoping to attract chipmakers like TSMC and Samsung to establish factories in the country as it works on further reducing its reliance on the manufacturing hubs of South Korea and Taiwan.

Following the announcement, shares of Samsung closed almost 4% higher.

Although the group is focusing largely on cutting-edge chips, Samsung said that semiconductors for automotive, 5G, and high-performance computing, , which are far less advanced, will account for over 50% of its contract chipmaking by 2027.

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