Samsung’s upcoming 1.4-nanometer chip fabrication process, planned for a 2027 release, is set to bring improved performance, efficiency, and thermal thresholds. Early details about the South Korean tech giant’s 1.4nm process were shared with The Elec via DigiTimes by Jeong Gi-Tae, the vice president of Samsung Foundry. Samsung will use the gate-all-around fabrication process to produce four-nanosheet chips, which has big benefits for performance. This leap is possible due to Samsung’s employment of the gate-all-around (GAA) production process that it rolled out in 2022.
The 1.4nm process is considered the end goal of Samsung’s current roadmap for microprocessor production. Right now, the microprocessing industry is starting to produce 3nm chips, including Samsung Foundry and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The first widespread release of 3nm chips was completed by Apple this year, with its A17 Pro and M3 series of chips. The dream of 1.4nm process is still a far bit off, with Samsung first targeting 2nm chips in 2025. What this does is reduce the amount of lost power in the current flow.
How Samsung’s 1.4nm process will improve performance
When it comes to microprocessor fabrication, smaller chips result in significantly better performance. With the planned 1.4nm process, Samsung aims to halve the size of the smallest parts of its microprocessors compared to the current 3nm node. It will do this with the GAA fabrication process. Essentially, the GAA process involves stacking the nanosheets in a chip’s transistors. Samsung ensures that all four sides are surrounded by the gate by covering the main channel on both the horizontal and vertical planes.
Another part of Samsung’s 1.4nm process is increasing the number of nanosheets in a transistor from three to four. By using four nanosheets in the GAA process, Samsung should have more control over its chips’ driving current than ever before. While this does have a performance advantage, the better result is efficiency. When microprocessors consume power, not all of it is actually used for performance. Some of it is lost along the way, decreasing a chip’s efficiency. Samsung can limit the amount of excess power with its increased nanosheet count and the GAA process.
This move won’t have an effect on consumers for now. Although many consumer products use microprocessors, including phones, they won’t see the 1.4nm process until 2027 at the earliest. However, there is a bright side for smartphone buyers. The new information shared about Samsung’s 1.4nm process could make the company even more competitive with TSMC. Some of Samsung Foundry’s biggest clients include Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Intel. With Samsung and TSMC competing to make the fastest processor, the entire industry benefits.