Samsung Electronics has begun mass production of chips using a new generation of 14nm FinFET technology, and disclosed it has already secured business from rival chip firm Qualcomm to deliver the Snapdragon 820 processor using the new process.
The company designs and sells its own ARM-based chips for smartphones, but offers its services as a foundry, manufacturing chips designed by other firms. The most notable example is Apple, which has used Samsung to make the processors for its iPhone and iPad devices.
Samsung said it is now up and running with what it calls its 14nm LPP (Low-Power Plus) process, the second-generation of its 14nm FinFET process technology, and that the firm is using this to manufacture Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, which is expected to appear in devices in the first half of this year.
The Snapdragon 820 is built from four of the firm's own-design Kryo CPU cores, making it Qualcomm's first custom 64-bit quad-core processor.
Samsung is also using the new process to manufacture its own Exynos 8890 eight-core processor, a chip unveiled late last year with four custom cores and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, which Samsung claims can deliver the highest performance and power efficiency in its class.
The firm said that the 14nm FinFET process is one of the most optimised solutions for mobile applications, and that it expects to use it to meet growing market demand for a wide range of high-performance and power-efficient applications from networks to automotive.
The second generation of the technology delivers up to 15 percent higher speed and 15 percent less power consumption compared with the earlier 14nm LPE process through improvements in transistor structure and process optimisation.
"We are pleased to start production of our industry-leading, second-generation 14nm FinFET process technology that delivers the highest level of performance and power efficiency," said Charlie Bae, executive vice president for sales and marketing in Samsung's LSI Business Electronics division.
The new processors support Intel's Optane memory acceleration technology
Blockchain's killer app is bitcoin, the rest is mostly 'pure marketing', says MaidSafe's David Irvine
Blockchains are not suited to many of the data security purposes being put forward for them
Applications from some member states were down more than 40 per cent
A new RSA report urges coders to sign a 'Hippocratic Oath' before embarking on AI programmes.