Samsung today announced that it has become the first company in the world to start mass production of a 10nm FinFET SoC. It says that the first SoCs from this process will be "used in digital devices launching early next year". Benefits over its 14nm predecessors include up to 27 per cent higher performance or 40 per cent lower power consumption.
Talking up his company's achievement, Jong Shik Yoon, EVP Head of Foundry Business at Samsung Electronics, said "The industry’s first mass production of 10nm FinFET technology demonstrates our leadership in advanced process technology". Yoon promised that Samsung will continue to push ahead with similar advancements to provide differentiated solutions for customers.
Samsung's 10LPE 10nm FinFET process uses an advanced 3D transistor structure plus other enhancements to improve area efficiency by 30 per cent. Furthermore, the device designer can opt for improving performance by 27-per cent or cutting SoC power consumption by 40 per cent (or some compromise in between those extremes). The 10LPE 10nm FinFET process will be succeeded by the second generation 10LPP 10nm FinFET process, with performance boost, in H2 2017.
Customers and partners of Samsung will further benefit from added investment into a robust 10nm foundry ecosystem that includes reference flow verification, IPs and libraries. New production level process design kits (PDK) and IP design kits are already available.
Reading between the lines of the statement that "SoCs with 10nm process technology will be used in digital devices launching early next year," we might assume that the yearly Samsung Galaxy S refresh will precipitate the launch of a Galaxy S8 with one of these new 10nm FinFET SoCs, either at CES2017 or MWC 2017 or an event tied to one of these big consumer electronics shows. Last year the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge were powered by the 14nm FinFET Exynos 8890 SoC (or Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 depending on world region).