As-small-as-DNA
Seen is the aerial view of Samsung's EUV lines in Hwaseong, near Seoul. Courtesy of Samsung Electronics

Samsung develops 5nm chip tech

Samsung Electronics said on April 16 that the electronics giant developed a 5-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology to get ready for customers’ samples.

One nm is one-billionth of a meter. For reference, a human hair is 80,000-100,000nm wide, and a strand of human DNA is 2.5nm in diameter.

The Seoul-based outfit said that compared to the existing 7nm technology, the new 5nm FinFET process technology provides up to a 25 percent increase in logic area efficiency with 20 percent lower power consumption.

Samsung Electronics added that customers will be able to fully leverage its highly sophisticated ultra-violet (EUV) technology on top of power performance area improvements from 7nm to 5nm.

In successful completion of our 5nm development, we’ve proven our capabilities in EUV-based nodes,” Samsung Executive Vice President Charlie Bae said.

In response to customer’s surging demand for advanced process technologies to differentiate their next-generation products, we continue our commitment to accelerating the volume production of EUV-based technologies.”

Samsung started rolling out products based on 7nm process early this year and is now cooperating with clients on 6nm.

Samsung’s EUV-based advanced nodes are expected to be in high demand for new and innovative applications such as 5G, artificial intelligence, high performance computing, and automotive,” Bae said.

Leveraging our robust technology competitiveness including our leadership in EUV lithography, Samsung will continue to deliver the most advanced technologies and solutions to customers.”

Ha Dae-won, who works at Samsung research center, said that the firm’s technology is improving at a breakneck pace.

Considering that the 5nm process is here in just six months after last October’s unveiling of the first commercial application of EUV in our 7nm process,” he said.

It’s rapid progress made possible in large part by running thousands of wafer layers through EUV exposure systems each week. Hands-on experience is the only way to ascend the EUV learning curve, and that body of knowledge is growing daily.”