While the 7nm chipsets are the big reality of 2020, several companies are already moving to the next big thing – 5nm. Some companies like Apple and Huawei expected to introduce their first 5nm chips in the coming months. Samsung already started the mass production of its next-generation 5nm chip and we can expect it to appear within the Galaxy S21, or perhaps S30, family. While the company’s focus is already in the next-gen, it is also working hard to improve on the current and well established 7nm standard. That’s not a surprise, after all, we expect this 7nm to eventually roll out to other chipsets in the mid-range segment. Today, the Korean Behemoth announced that it has successfully applied 3D stacking technology on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) based 7nm chips.
Samsung calls this new technology eXtended-Cube, or X-Cube. The process involves stacking the SRAM on top of the logic die. This is done using Samsung’s through-silicon via (TSV) technology that uses tiny holes to interconnect layers on chips. The process is slightly different from the one used on Conventional system semiconductors which have logic dies such as CPU and GPU. These are on the same plane as the SRAM on those cases. In the case of the X-Cube, it stacks the SRAM on top of the logic dies. It occupies less space and helps in more efficient power saving. Worth noting that Samsung also disclosed that the new process will lead to a boost in the data transfer speed.
5nm might be the next step, but this will not let 7nm development behind
Samsung states that it will continue to push the boundary in terms of the development of this technology. The company wants to further establish an advanced semiconductor technology production. Unfortunately, we don’t have an exact idea of where Samsung will implement this technology. According to very early reports, the Galaxy S21 may utilize and improved version of the Exynos 990. Perhaps, it will be based on Samsung’s recently announced technology. The Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, will have a 5nm Exynos 1000 chipset to kick in the company’s new technology advancements for its chipset division.
We all know that the Exynos chips are not the user’s most favored choice in smartphones. However, Samsung will keep using them on its proprietary smartphones for the largest part of the world. Therefore, it’s good to see that the company is not saving efforts in making it better.