Samsung Starts 2nd Gen 10nm Silicon Production
Samuel Wan / 2 years ago
As manufacturers near the limits of silicon, each new node tends to last longer. This comes as new process nodes grow increasingly more complicated and costly to develop. Shortly after releasing their first 10nm process, Samsung is announcing yet another. The Korean conglomerate is now starting production on their 2nd generation 10nm process. Samsung is now making SoCs on 10LPP (Low Power Plus).
10nm LPP will replace the current 10nm LPE (Low Power Early) process. Building on its predecessor, the new process offers either 10-percent higher performance or 15-percent lower power consumption. While these are small gains, they are more or less free as cost should eventually even out. This marginal improvement is also greater once you consider the base specifications it gets to work on.
Samsung 10LPP Paves Road to 8LPP
Previously, companies would move to the next node as soon as it becomes economical. This made sense when moving to the next node was cheaper and more efficient than staying on existing nodes. Unfortunately, developing new nodes on silicon is getting harder all the time. This has led even Intel to dilly daddle on each new process. The foundries now choose to make refinements of existing nodes to stretch out its lifespan as much as possible.
The industry will likely be stuck on silicon for quite a while due to difficulties with other mediums. Luckily it looks like EUV will finally make an impact shortly. Samsung is also working on their 8nm 8LPP process to enable even more performance and power savings. 10nm LPP is expected power devices arriving early next year. The smartphone refresh in early 2018 will likely see 10LPP SoCs powering them.