Samsung’s AI-Era Vision Coincides With its New Chip Tech

Samsung sees chips being integral to its AI future
Samsung announced its AI-Era Vision will be fuelled by its new chip tech alongside its new Samsung AI Solutions platform

It seems the South Korean tech giant Samsung sees chips being integral to its AI future as it unveiled its new AI vision alongside new technology for its foundry.

“At a time when numerous technologies are evolving around AI, the key to its implementation lies in high-performance, low-power semiconductors," said Dr. Siyoung Choi, President and Head of Foundry Business at Samsung Electronics. 

"Alongside our proven GAA process optimised for AI chips, we plan to introduce integrated, co-packaged optics (CPO) technology for high-speed, low-power data processing, providing our customers with the one-stop AI solutions they need to thrive in this transformative era."

Unveiled at this years Samsung Foundry Forum (SFF) at its Device Solutions headquarters in California, Samsung introduced two new advanced process nodes, SF2Z and SF4U, and its new integrated Samsung AI Solutions platform, which leverages the strengths of its Foundry, Memory, and Advanced Package (AVP) businesses.

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Chip specifications

The latest 2nm process node, SF2Z, incorporates backside power delivery technology to improve power efficiency, performance, and transistor density compared to the previous 2nm node. 

This enhancement is designed to enable more powerful and energy-efficient chips for high-performance computing applications. Mass production of SF2Z is planned for 2027.

The company also introduced SF4U, a 4nm process variant that leverages optical shrink techniques to enhance power, performance, and area scaling. This advanced 4nm node is expected to deliver more capable and efficient chips when it enters mass production in 2025.

Samsung also emphasised the maturity of its Gate-All-Around (GAA) technology, a key enabler for AI chips, which is entering its third year of mass production.

This segued neatly into the announcement of Samsung AI Solutions, a turnkey AI platform resulting from collaborative efforts across the company’s Foundry, Memory, and AVP businesses, which can be tailored to specific customer AI requirements. 

Competitive landscape

Samsung is focusing heavily on AI chip production to regain its competitive edge in the semiconductor market. 

Earlier this year, the company announced it had  managed to land US$6.4bn in US Chips and Science Act funding, and a strategy for using AI technology to make the connected devices more energy-efficient and feature AI capabilities. 

Samsung has since released a raft of products that feature AI features, from TVs, smart monitors, and even its Galaxy AI, which puts AI onto its handsets.

This comes after the company has been facing challenges in retaining a leading position in the market, especially in the  high-end memory for AI. 

Chip maker NVIDIA remains the dominant force, seeing share prices soar driven by the rise of generative AI and the increasing complexity of deep learning models. 

To counter this, Samsung newly appointed a head of its semiconductor division, who has called on staff to pull together to overcome a raft of challenges.

The company is therefore leveraging its comprehensive capabilities in chip design, memory chip production, foundry, and packaging to offer highly tailored solutions through chip and package co-design.

Samsung's strategy includes diversifying its customer base and application areas. Over the past year, close customer collaborations have led to an 80% increase in Samsung Foundry’s AI sales. 

Its high-end smartphones use Qualcomm's Snapdragon mobile processors, and the companies have recently expanded their partnership to AI-enabled PCs.

Samsung's latest announcements at SFF 2024 highlight its commitment to becoming a force in the AI chip technology and regaining its competitive edge in the semiconductor market by offering the hardware and software approach for AI applications. 

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