Samsung process roadmap 7nm 2018, 5nm 2019, 4nm 2020 and 3nm 2021

Samsung plans to bring to mass production in 2021 the architectural successor to FinFETS, gate-all-around (GAA) transistors, at the 3nm (nanometer) node. They will begin 7nm (nanometer) production using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in the second half of this year at its annual foundry technology forum.

Process Technology Roadmap Updates

* 7LPP (7nm Low Power Plus): 7LPP, the first semiconductor process technology to use an EUV lithography solution, is scheduled to be ready for production in the second half of this year. Samsung says key IPs are under development, aiming to be completed by the first half of 2019. Rivals TSMC and Globalfoundries have also announced plans to use EUV in commercial production starting in 2019.
* 5LPE (5nm Low Power Early): Through further smart innovation from 7LPP process, Samsung says that 5LPE will allow greater area scaling and ultra-low power benefits.
* 4LPE/LPP (4nm Low Power Early/Plus): The use of highly mature and verified FinFET technology will be extended to the 4nm process. As the last generation of FinFET, 4nm provides a smaller cell size, improved performance and faster ramp-up to the stable level of yield by adopting proven 5LPE, supporting easy migration.
* 3GAAE/GAAP (3nm Gate-All-Around Early/Plus): 3nm process nodes adopt GAA, the next-generation device architecture. To overcome the physical scaling and performance limitations of the FinFET architecture, Samsung is developing its GAA technology, MBCFET (Multi-Bridge-Channel FET) that uses a nano-sheet device. By enhancing the gate control, Samsung says that the performance of 3nm nodes will be significantly improved.

GAA transistors are field-effect transistors (FET) that feature a gate on all four sides of the channel to overcome the physical scaling and performance limitations of FinFETs, including supply voltage.