Samsung plans to produce 14nm AP’s from its Line 17 S3 plant located in Hwasung, near the Samsung city Suwon south of Seoul.
The English articles linked below are nearly worthless, but better than none. Sammobile’s use of verbs like “claims” and “suggested” are not correct translations, but what Abhijeet M. calls “poorly translated Korean” was probably not about human translation, but Google’s. The Digital Daily report is as official and authentic as any press release can be. Plans can always fail even for Intel and NASA. Samsung previously planned to move from 28nm to 20nm. That was discarded and now it wants to go from 28nm to 14nm 3D FinFET process. Samsung’s mobile AP marketshare is currently 4th after Qualcomm, Apple, and MediaTek of Taiwan. Apple’s AP is of course used in Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Though Samsung’s marketshare for tablet AP is second only Apple according to the latest Strategy Analytics announcement. The combined quarterly sales of smartphone and tablet AP’s worldwide is a little over US$5 billion. Qualcomm and Apple do not make processors, so it’s also competition between Samsung and TSMC of Taiwan. TSMC is also investing to switch to 16nm manufacutring. Samsung plans to use the first 14nm Exynos 6 inside Galaxy S5, but which phone will actually become the first is far less important. Samsung’s annual sales of mobile AP for 2012 was about US$10 billion. Profitability of the division for this year seems to be about 6%.
The first ES (engineering sample) will come out at the end of 2013. The first BS (business sample) will be released in early 2013, and mass production of the chip will soon follow.
Exynos 5 is known to have 8 cores, but Exynos 5410 had only 4 cores running at once. Exynos 5430 will be a little better.
Another plan reported on the web 8 days ago is Exynos 5430 will be the initial AP for Galaxy S5 and will be announced in January 2014. Stasys Bielinis of Unwired View is bold enough to dismiss the idea of transition from 28nm to 14nm. It’s very possible Samsung might not be able to meet the deadlines and it’s yield rates that determine profits, but the blogger probably didn’t read the article at all. Much of the Digital Daily report actually quotes S.LSI Business at Samsung Electronics’ Device Solutions division. I don’t see why an established news site has to write a novel of such depth. What English sources call “rumour” is actually based on real investments that are happening. Line 17 S3 is planned for completion in Q3 2014.
Picture from Digital Daily of South Korea (linked above)
The guy is Dr. Stephen Woo, president of the S.LSI Business at Samsung Electronics’ Device Solutions division who delivered the keynote address at the 2013 International CES at Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas.
Picture from Hankyung.com (The Korea Economic Daily)
He’s Lee Gunhee, the son of Lee Byungchul and father of the next president of Samsung Electronics. Samsung’s pouring over US$12 billion into that line alone, the largest in the world yet. Its contruction was on hold since October last year, but resumed upon his order, possibly after talks with the current president Park Gunhye. Lee Gunhee ordered the contruction to continue in early April this year. The president complained something about Samsung not investing enough. Original plan was to complete by the end of 2013 for 20nm and 14nm production. Due to the recent decision by Apple to diversify AP suppliers (notably from Samsung to Samsung + TSMC), Samsung put the construction on hold last year. Samsung converted its Austin (Texas, US) DRAM production lines to produce Apple’s AP not so long ago and the Line 17 S3 was dedicated to mobile AP. Line 15 and Line 16 are located next to the 560,000 sq. meter site allocated for Line 17.