On June 9, Samsung announced the development of a new generation of “8-nanometer radio frequency (RF) process technology” to strengthen solutions for 5G communication chips. The technology supports multi-channel and multi-antenna chip design for 5G communication, and is expected to provide a “OneChip Solution” for 5G communication.
It is understood that Samsung’s 8nm RF process technology is the latest addition to RF-related solutions that are already widely used, including 28nm and 14nm. Since 2017, Samsung has shipped more than 500 million mobile terminal RF chips for high-end smartphones.
“Through superior innovation and process manufacturing, we have strengthened our next-generation wireless communication products,” said Hyung Jin Lee, head of the foundry technology development team at Samsung Electronics. “As 5G mmWave expands, Samsung’s 8nm RF will be a great solution for customers looking for longer battery life and excellent signal quality in compact mobile devices.”
Samsung said that Samsung’s process optimization maximizes channel mobility while minimizing parasitic effects. The total number of transistors in the RF chip and the area of the analog/RF blocks can be reduced due to the substantial increase in the performance of RFeFETs. Compared to 14nm RF, Samsung’s 8nm RF process technology improves power efficiency by 35%, while reducing RF chip area by 35%, thanks to its RFeFET architecture innovation.
Samsung Electronics hopes that the latest 8-nanometer RF process technology will enhance its influence in the field of foundry chip manufacturing.
In terms of revenue, Samsung had a 17% revenue share in the global foundry market in the first quarter of this year, far behind industry leader TSMC (55% market share), according to market research firm TrendForce.
In the first quarter of 2021, Samsung’s revenue was 65.39 trillion won (about 58.6 billion U.S. dollars), an increase of 18.2% year-on-year and a 6% month-on-month increase, of which the comprehensive revenue of the semiconductor business was 19.01 trillion won.
The company said that despite stable memory shipments, profits at its semiconductor business fell sequentially, mainly due to production disruptions at its Austin plant, as well as lower NAND prices. At the same time, the increased initial cost of new production lines associated with advanced node migration also weighed on the company’s performance.