The roadmap was rolled out at a one-day annual Samsung Foundry Forum event held in Santa Clara, California, May 24.
The processes include an 18nm FDSOI process node and manufacturing processes at 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4nm. At 4nm Samsung plans to introduce a post-FinFET process that it calls MBCFET for multi-bridge channel FET.
Samsung described the MBCFET as a gate-all-around FET (GAAFET) that uses a “nanosheet” to overcome physical scaling and performance limitations of the FinFET architecture. The description is also reminiscent of multiple nanowire-within-fin designs that have been shown by research groups such as IMEC.
Samsung is expected to start so-called “risk production” of MBCFETs in 2020 in the 4nm low-power plus (LPP) process. It remains unclear as to what sort of materials Samsung intends to use in the channel. Germanium doping or in higher quantities as a strain agent is one possibility that is already mainstream in FinFET processes but research has also considered the inclusion of III-V materials or carbon as means of improving transistor action at these tiny geometries.
“To successfully compete in today’s fast-paced business environment, our customers need a foundry partner with a comprehensive roadmap at the advanced process nodes to achieve their business goals and objectives,” said Jong Shik Yoon, executive vice president of foundry business at Samsung Electronics, in a statement.
Next: Between now and 2020
Between now and 2020 Samsung expects to bring out a process node per year with an 8nm LPP process is expected to go into production this year and a 7nm LPP to start production in 2018 and feature extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. The 6nm and 5nm process will both start in 2019. The 6nm LPP result from the application of smart-scaling technology to the 7nm EUV process while 5nm LPP will extends the physical scaling limit of FinFETs by implementing technology innovations from the next process generation, 4LPP.
Samsung is clear that it expects EUV production to start at the 7nm node and that 7nm production will start in 2018. However, it may not follow that EUV production will follow in 2018. A conventional engineering approach would be start 7nm using the same production techniques as at the previous node and only once that has been stabilized start to replace immersion lithography with EUV for certain most aggressive layers. This is the approach being taken by Globalfoundries (see Globalfoundries says EUV in production in 2019).
The 18nm FDSOI, expected to enter risk production in 2019, sits in between Globalfoundries 22FDX and 12FDX manufacturing process so that the two companies provide geometry options from Samung’s 28nm FDSOI down to 12nm.
Samsung said it will expand its 28FDS process into a broader platform with the addition of radio frequency capabilities and embedded magnetic random access memory (eMRAM) options (see Report: Samsung signs NXP as MRAM-on-FDSOI customer). The 18FDS will provide enhanced power, performance, area trade-offs Samsung said.
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