Samsung announced on Wednesday that it has begun mass production of 3-nanometer processors, faster and more efficient class chips.
Advanced processor technology will reduce power consumption by 45% and surface area by 16%, while improving performance by 23% compared to the 5nm process, Samsung said in a statement. The processor was previously expected to arrive in 2021, but was postponed until that year.
The transition to next-generation production technology is extremely complex. Chips are made of billions of electronic components called transistors, each much smaller than a speck. Progress comes by miniaturizing the transistors so that more can be squeezed into the chip, increasing their speed and reducing power consumption.
The new chip debuted amid extreme pressure in the processor business. With the pandemic boosting computer sales, smartphone use and online data center depletion, demand for processors has outpaced production capacity. The shortage of chips has hampered sales of computers, game consoles, cars and other products that rely on global electronics supply chains.
This is also happening against the background of intense competition in the chip industry. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is the world’s most dominant foundry chip maker, controlling nearly 54% of the global market in the first quarter of 2022, according to data provider TrendForce. By comparison, TSMC came in a far second place with a 16.3% market share.
In 2025, Samsung plans to move to a second, more advanced all-encompassing technology called 2GAP. This production method will be the first of Samsung’s 2nm generation.