Samsung Steps into the AI Future with Groundbreaking Foundry Technologies at SFF 2024

At the heart of Silicon Valley, Samsung Electronics recently unveiled its state-of-the-art advancements in foundry technologies at the Samsung Foundry Forum (SFF) 2024, held in San Jose, California. Under the banner of “Empowering the AI Revolution,” Samsung laid out its updated process technology roadmap, which now includes two cutting-edge nodes: SF2Z and SF4U, underscoring its commitment to leading the charge into the AI era.

Dr. Siyoung Choi, the President of Samsung Electronics Foundry Business, took center stage to spotlight the indispensable role of advanced semiconductor solutions in powering AI innovations. Chief among these advancements is Samsung’s proprietary gate-all-around (GAA) technology. Specifically tailored for AI chips, GAA technology is set to revolutionize data processing through the integration of co-packaged optics (CPO), enabling rapid and energy-efficient capabilities crucial for the next generation of AI applications.

The forum wasn’t just a showcase of Samsung’s technological leaps but also featured presentations from giants in the industry, such as Arm CEO Rene Haas and Groq CEO Jonathan Ross. This highlighted the collaborative spirit of Samsung’s approach, with over thirty partner companies participating, all aimed at navigating the complexities of emerging AI technologies together.

Among the technologies presented, Samsung’s new 2nm process node, SF2Z, emerged as a game-changer. It introduces optimized backside power delivery network (BSPDN) technology, promising unmatched power efficiency and performance enhancement for high-performance computing (HPC) applications. This is expected to mitigate voltage drop significantly when compared to previous generations. With mass production anticipated to start in 2027, SF2Z is poised to set a new industry standard in semiconductor manufacturing.

In addition to SF2Z, Samsung also revealed SF4U, a high-value 4nm process variant that employs optical shrink technology, aimed at mass production by 2025. Furthermore, Samsung’s endeavors extend to the SF1.4 (1.4nm) process, with mass production targeted by 2027, and ongoing research into sub-1.4nm technologies that explore the use of novel materials and structures.

As the AI era dawns, Samsung’s GAA technology stands at the forefront of their strategy, crucial for meeting the rigorous power and performance requirements of AI applications. With plans to extend GAA into its forthcoming 2nm process, Samsung is marking its third year of mass production with significant technological momentum.

Another highlight from the forum was the introduction of Samsung AI Solutions, a cohesive integration of capabilities from Foundry, Memory, and Advanced Package (AVP) segments. This collaborative effort is geared towards providing tailored solutions for AI applications, boasting an optimized supply chain management that translates to a remarkable 20% reduction in total turnaround time (TAT). By 2027, Samsung envisions launching a comprehensive CPO-integrated AI solution, significantly streamlining AI implementations for customers.

Looking ahead, Samsung is set to host the annual Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem (SAFE) Forum under the theme “AI: Exploring Possibilities and Future.” Slated for June 13, the forum will gather a pantheon of industry visionaries, including Siemens CEO Mike Ellow, AMD Vice President Bill En, and Celestial AI CEO David Lazovsky. The focus will be on customizable technologies and collaborative efforts to propel chip and system design technologies forward. Additionally, the Multi-Die Integration (MDI) Alliance workshop will continue the discussion on 2.5D and 3D IC designs.

“In an era where AI-related technologies are rapidly evolving, the success of AI implementations hinge on the performance of high-efficiency, low-power semiconductors,” explained Choi. “With our proven GAA process, optimized for AI chips, and our upcoming integrated, co-packaged optics (CPO) technology, we are well-positioned to provide our customers with comprehensive, one-stop AI solutions that will define the future of this transformative era.”

As Samsung Electronics pushes the boundary of foundry technologies, its innovative efforts in advancing the semiconductor industry for the AI age promise to empower the AI revolution, delivering the next wave of technological breakthroughs.

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