Samsung's next-gen chip technology delayed until 2022

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fairly difficult
The company's 3-nanometer manufacturing technology is late, but its more advanced 2nm successor will arrive in 2025.
Samsung; Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Samsung, one of the three leading edge processor manufacturers, had planned to start building a faster and more efficient class of chips in 2021, but instead the new design will instead arrive in the first half of 2022. The Korean electronics giant shared the schedule for the shift during its Samsung Foundry Forum on Wednesday.

The slip means customers that rely on Samsung will have to wait longer to tap into the leading-edge technology. Among the biggest names using the company's services are phone chip designer Qualcomm, server maker IBM and Samsung itself.

The good news for those customers, though, is that Samsung also announced progress in the next generation of manufacturing afterward, a refinement that should arrive in the second half of 2025. That should deliver another step forward in chip performance, power efficiency and electronics miniaturization, Samsung said.

Samsung's top chipmaking rival, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., disclosed a delay to similar technology in August. The schedule slips ease the pressure a little on Intel, which is launching its own foundry business as part of a recovery plan aimed at reclaiming the leadership it lost to TSMC and Samsung.

The processor business is under extreme pressure. With the pandemic boosting PC sales, smartphone usage, and online services run out of data centers, demand for processors has outstripped manufacturing capacity. The chip shortage has hobbled sales of PCs, game consoles, cars and other products reliant on world-spanning electronics supply chains.

Based on Samsung's conversations with customers, the processor shortage won't ease until 2022, said Shawn Han, a Samsung…
Stephen Shankland
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