Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Semiconductor war between Samsung vs TSMC: Everything You Need to Know

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Although Samsung remains behind TSMC in terms of sales, the South Korean foundries have already surpassed Intel in 2021. Samsung invests 70% of its annual revenue in improving manufacturing capacity, whereas TSMC only invests 50%, indicating that the South Korean behemoth believes it will catch up and finally overcome its biggest competition by 2030.

The company announced its ambitious aim to become the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer by 2030 two years ago. The corporation upped its investment goal from $115 billion to $151 billion last year. However, TSMC will invest more than Samsung this year, so that may not be enough.

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This year, the rivalry between Samsung and TSMC is expected to intensify. While Taiwanese foundries will continue to use highly polished FinFET transistors, the South Korean behemoth is making the brave move to GAAFET technology for 3 nm nodes.

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Despite the fact that the Samsung foundries are only in their sixth year as a fully separate business unit, they are not far behind TSMC in terms of clients served. Although many observers still consider Samsung’s yields to be lower than those of its Taiwanese rival, the South Korean corporation is constantly investing and improving its manufacturing lines, with a clear goal of overtaking TSMC by 2030.

TSMC is expected to invest KRW 52.2 trillion (about $44 billion) in its chip foundry business in 2022, according to South Korean media. Samsung, on the other hand, intends to spend KRW 45 trillion ($37.7 billion). Samsung invested far more in its chip-making business arm in 2020 and 2021 than TSMC, but catching up to TSMC this year will be difficult.

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Via techpowerup.com

In 2021, TSMC, which has high-profile clients including Apple and AMD, had a fantastic year. Revenue increased by 24.9 percent to $56.8 billion, while operating profit increased by 40.9 percent to $23.3 billion, compared to 2020. As a result, the corporation intends to increase its investment significantly this year. TSMC is anticipated to expand the gap with Samsung this year as it invests more.

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Samsung’s 7nm and 5nm process nodes, according to industry experts, were inferior than TSMC’s similar processes. As a result, an increasing number of clients are turning to TSMC for future product development. In comparison to TSMC’s 4nm node, even the 4nm process node is likely to underperform. With their 3nm GAA (Gate-All-Around) technique, Samsung hopes to change that.

In comparison to 5nm circuits, Samsung Foundry’s 3nm GAA technique might deliver a 35 percent reduction in space, 30 percent higher performance, and 50 percent reduced power consumption. The company intends to begin mass manufacturing of 3nm chips at least one month before TSMC. In 2024, the Taiwanese company will use the GAA technology with its 2nm process.

Samsung 3nm gaa image

There has been an increase in demand for sophisticated CPUs, GPUs, RAM for AI processing, cloud infrastructure, personal computing, and advanced mobile devices since the COVID-19 pandemic. It even contributed to the current global chip scarcity. As a result, the semiconductor industry is considered as a high-growth sector, and Samsung and TSMC are vying for a bigger share of the pie.

Final Words:

Undoubtedly, Samsung and TSMC are extremely efficient Semiconductor giants but in accordance with the current scenario, I would say that the facts stated above gives TSMC an edge over samsung.

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