Samsung strongly refutes rumors of defects in its 3nm chips

Written on 06/26/2024
Taylor Bell

Samsung is the world's largest semiconductor chip manufacturer, but it ranks second in the contract chip manufacturing sector. A few days ago, reports emerged that Samsung Foundry was having problems manufacturing 3nm chips. However, Samsung refuted these rumors, claiming that all rumors are baseless.

Samsung Denies Having Problems Manufacturing 3nm Chips
Recently, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Samsung is having revenue-related issues in manufacturing 3nm chips. They claimed that these issues could force Samsung MX to focus all its efforts on the Galaxy S25 series with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4. However, Samsung strongly denied these reports, calling them "baseless."

According to one report, defects in Samsung Foundry's second-generation 3nm process node affected 2,500 batches (65,000 12-inch wafers per month), causing losses of approximately 1 trillion won ($720 million). It was further reported that all of these wafers had to be scrapped due to defects. However, some reports said that the "all were scrapped" part was incorrect, and the actual situation is still in the evaluation stage.

The current production capacity of Samsung's second-generation 3nm chip manufacturing process is 60,000 pieces per month. The Korean company also said that such a large-scale defect is unlikely to occur because it has multiple inspection processes throughout production.

Samsung is reportedly planning a dual-source application processor (or system-on-chip) for the Galaxy S25 series. As such, phones sold in some regions will use Samsung's own Exynos 2500 chips (tentative name) manufactured by Samsung Foundry. Phones in other regions will use Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 processors manufactured by market leader TSMC. Both chips are reportedly manufactured on a 3nm process.

The Korean company typically follows the same dual-source strategy, but for the Galaxy S23, it had to exclusively use Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chips due to yield and performance issues with the Samsung Foundry-made Exynos chips. It remains to be seen whether Samsung will face similar issues this year.

Samsung is also expected to use the 3nm Exynos W1000 chip in its Galaxy Watch 7 series. This chip is also manufactured on the Samsung Foundry's 3nm process node. It is a 5-core chip that is almost certain to be used in the Galaxy Watch 7 and Galaxy Watch Ultra according to recent reports and leaks.