Samsung reportedly renaming 2nd-gen 3nm process to '2nm' process

Jessica Tsai, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: Samsung

Samsung Electronics is reportedly renaming its second-generation 3nm process to "2nm process," with expectations to begin mass production in the second half of 2024.

Although rumors about Samsung's intention to rename its 2nd-gen 3nm process to 2nm surfaced at the end of 2023, a report from ZDNet Korea, citing industry sources, stated that Samsung began notifying its customers and partners that it would be renaming the "2nd-gen 3nm process" to the "2nm process" at the start of 2024.

Industry insiders revealed that they have received notifications from Samsung about the name change and have had to re-sign contracts as a result.

Analysis suggests that the name change could help Samsung in marketing its foundry services. This also isn't the first time Samsung has renamed its manufacturing process. In 2020, when transitioning from the 7nm to the 5nm process, Samsung renamed the "2nd-gen 7nm process" to the "5nm process."

Samsung was the first to globally mass-produce 3nm chips using the Gate-all-around (GAA) process in June 2022. The company plans to start mass producing its 2nd-gen 3nm process in 2024 and 2nm process in 2025. After the name change, Samsung might consolidate the 2nd-gen 3nm and 2nm processes. It's speculated that Samsung can start mass-producing 2nm chips as early as the second half of 2024.

It was previously reported that Samsung secured a 2nm AI accelerator order from Japanese AI startup Preferred Networks (PFN). Interestingly, this "2nm" is essentially the 2nd-gen 3nm process. The goal is to commence mass production in 2025.

In a similar move, Intel recently unveiled its advanced process technology roadmap at a wafer foundry event, aiming to begin mass production of the 20A (2nm) process and 18A (1.8nm) process by the end of 2024. Intel's goal is to enter the sub-2nm process earlier than its competitors to secure a spot in the market.