As we know, TSMC has been a leader in the semiconductor market for quite some time with its low nanometer manufacturing processes. Samsung is lagging behind in the competition and that is why a few days ago it announced the mass production of its 3nmGAA. Now, in addition, Samsung entered into a purchase agreement with ASMLwhich involves a cost of $11 billion on lithographic machines.
We are in a time of semiconductor crisis, with prices and demand that we had not experienced before. Of course, almost all companies seek to develop their products using the latest and greatest manufacturing processes. TSMC, something that comes out more cases but compensates. This company leads the world in wafer production, capturing a 53.5% of the market, while Samsung only has 16.3%. However, Samsung wants to fight for this crown, and for that it has to buy the necessary machines to increase its production, machines that are currently only produced by the Dutch company ASML.
Samsung Electronics and ASML Sign EUV Machine Purchase Agreement
In October 2020, the vice president of Samsung Electronics, Lee Jae-yon visited ASML, in order to clarify the plans for supply lithographic machines SEENnecessary for the production of semiconductors 7nm or less. Although the two companies have been collaborating for a few years, we are in a time of global shortage of chips and cannot keep up with the demand so easily.
In fact, ASML can only produce fifty machinery SEEN this year, with a delivery time between six months Yes a year. Given the limited production of these machines, Samsung can only choose to buy a few dozen from ASML. In fact, sources indicate that Samsung Electronics has already obtained 18 lithographic machines ASML EUV for 2022.
This means that on EUV lithography alone, Samsung has already spent more than 4 trillion won In this sector. But the business does not stop there, since they intend to work together to launch a lithography machine EUV High-NA (high numerical aperture objective) next year.
TSMC and Intel are ahead of Samsung, have machines capable of producing 2nm by 2024
With High-NA EUV scanners, the cost of the machines skyrockets, costing more than double of the normal version. Thus, it is estimated that high precision EUV equipment costs $400 million each. However, these are essential to be able to continue with the Moore’s law and manufacture chips below the 2nm.
Even with all these efforts, Samsung lags behind others in the industry, like Intel and TSMC itself. For the part of Intelhe informs that he bought 5 high precision machines of ASML, which will allow it to reach 2 nm at the start of 2024. Later, in the second half of 2024, he assures that he will lower the process to the 1.8nm.
From TSMC, he guarantees that he will also have ASML’s next-gen lithography machine by 2024. Samsung may have bought quite a few EUVs, but he is still behind his rivals, who already have EUV High machines -N / A. Also remember that the node to 8nm samsung for graphics cards Nvidia has been replaced by TSMC for the RTX40 it will be out in a while some butterflies.
Until Samsung presents a highly competitive product, most companies will bet on TSMC as the preferred option. Well, Intel will go its own way, as always, with a few meteor lake which will launch their most advanced manufacturing process, Intel 4which although they are 7nm, the company says they will be comparable to TSMC’s 4nm.