Samsung completes qualification of 8nm LPP process

The European event follows similar events earlier in the year in the US, South Korea, and Japan. While the company has been working on developing an efficient manufacturing process for the chipsets, the tech giant has now announced that its 8-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology, 8LPP (Low Power Plus), has been qualified and is ready for production.

Even though it's been promised for many years, EUV lithography hasn't been used before in production due to the difficulty and cost of implementation. Meanwhile, TSMC chose to skip the 10nm node entirely and go straight to 7nm, with its own stop-gap at 12nm, which is essentially a slightly improved 16nm process.

For Samsung, which is increasingly competing against TSMC, getting to the industry-best 7nm is crucial.

Silicon manufacturing appears to be marching toward the era of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), but Samsung's process train is making one last stop before pulling away from traditional litography and moving into the fearless new world of short-wavelength exposures. In other words, TSMC may have won this battle, but Samsung may ultimately win the war (or at least the next few process generation battles). The latest advancement promises 10 percent lower power consumption and an equal reduction in area size, in comparison to its previous iteration, 10LPP, thanks to a new "narrower" pitch design.

The new process will be the company's most advanced and competitive process node before the launch of 7nm EUV (Extreme Ultra Violet) technology that is expected to go live in 2018. Samsung does count Qualcomm as a client, and the company's Senior VP RK Chunduru says that 8nm LPP will quickly start rolling off the assembly lines since it uses the already proven 10nm technology for production. Samsung could further be shifting its focus to 6nm and 5nm chipset manufacturing process in future. This should still translate into a significant update for mid-range processors.

Samsung said it will reveal more about 8LPP availability and the development of 7nm at the Samsung Foundry Forum Europe this week.

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