Technology Reviews

Samsung working with American firm to improve semiconductor chip manufacturing yield

Samsung has struggled over the past few years with chip manufacturing. Its technology hasn’t been as good as TSMC’s. The Snapdragon 888 and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which Samsung Foundry made, had overheating issues. As a result, the company lost the contract to manufacture Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and Nvidia RTX 4000 GPUs to TSMC. However, the company is working hard to resolve those issues and compete with TSMC again.

It is being reported by Naver that Samsung has partnered with the US-based firm Silicon Frontline Technology to improve the yield (ratio of usable to unusable silicon wafer) of its semiconductor chips during production. The South Korean firm had yield-related issues with its 4nm and 5nm process nodes, and Samsung doesn’t want that to happen with its 3nm process node. Silicon Frontline will reportedly help Samsung Foundry with the front-end process and chip performance improvement.

The American firm offers chip qualification evaluation and ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) prevention technology. ESD is one of the leading causes of defects in semiconductor chips, and it is caused by friction between equipment and metal during the manufacturing process. Samsung has reportedly been working with Silicon Frontline for a long time in chip design and production processes and has achieved satisfactory results. The company will now use the firm’s technology in the chip verification process.

If the company manages to improve the performance of its future chip manufacturing processes, combined with its 3nm GAA architecture, Samsung Foundry could again compete with TSMC and get orders from big clients like AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm. Qualcomm has already mentioned that it could come back to Samsung as a part of its dual-foundry sourcing strategy.