Samsung ready to invest in next-gen chip production: here comes 20nm and even 14nm

As things stand, the super-small and super-efficient 22 nanometer transistors in Intels' Ivy Bridge are about as cutting edge as mainstream chip production gets, which is why this promise from Samsung is rather impressive. As reported by Reuters, the Korean manufacturer is preparing to invest $1.9 billion in a new logic chip line that will make chips for smartphones and processors. These chips will use 20nm and 14nm fabrication processes, making them potentially faster and more efficient than Ivy Bridge -- and leaving the silicon currently found in Sammy's 32nm Exynos Quad and Qualcomm's 28nm Snapdragon S4 far behind. Of course, Intel is gearing up for 14nm production next year too, and even setting its sights on 5nm after 2015, so the coming battle for Moore's Law should be just as lively as it is today.

[Silicon wafer photo via Shutterstock]

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Samsung Electronics Announces New 300mm Logic Line in Korea

SEOUL--(Korea Newswire) June 7, 2012 -- Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced plans to build a new fabrication line in Hwaseong, South Korea, to meet the growing demands for logic products.

Samsung will invest 2.25 trillion Korean won in the new fabrication line, which will break ground this month with a target timeline for completion by the end of 2013.

The new fabrication line will mainly produce highly advanced mobile application processors on 300mm wafers at 20nm and 14nm process nodes.

Along with Lines 9 and 14, which have been converted to System LSI fabrication earlier this year, the new line will help supply to the expanding need for smart mobile solutions.

With the new investments, as well as the addition of Line 16 in Hwaseong last September and plans to build a new NAND Flash plant in Xi'an, China, Samsung looks to balance its global semiconductor fabrication prowess.

Mr. Stephen Woo, president of Samsung Electronics' System LSI Business, said, "With the construction of our new System LSI fabrication line, Samsung will be able to respond to the demand of the global IT industry and strengthen our ability to support our customers' requirements even further."

According to market research firm Gartner, the demand for system semiconductor chips for use in smartphones and tablets will grow more than 20 percent on average from $23.4 billion in 2011 to $59.4 billion in 2016.