Samsung takes the next level in mobile processor technology.
Samsung announced today that the company has launched the mass production of the industry’s first mobile application processor using the new 14-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology.
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The 14nm FinFET process compared to Samsung’s 20nm process technology delivers up to 20% faster speed, 35% less power consumption and 30% productivity gain. The key is the incorporation of three-dimensional (3D) FinFET structure on transistors. Samsung has overcome performance and scaling limitations of the planar structure used in previous 20nm and older processes.
Characteristics of FinFET transistor performance are closely correlated to the high aspect ratio (AR) of fin height/fin width (see image above). The challenges of the FinFET structure include: control of the fin width and height dimensions, the ability to scale the fin width down to sub-20nm nodes and gate length dimension control over a high AR while precisely controlling all of these parameters during manufacturing.
Samsung’s FinFET technology, unlike planar transistors with flat, multi-layer designs, uses a tall wall-like gate, 3D-structured design to minimize leakage, and in turn, increase a chip’s reliability and power at a small node process. Additionally, as less heat is generated and the power supply lasts longer, clock frequencies can be tuned for system critical components without overstepping system power requirements.
“Samsung’s advanced 14nm FinFET process technology is undoubtedly the most advanced logic process technology in the industry,” said Gabsoo Han, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, System LSI Business, Samsung Electronics. “We expect the production of our 14nm mobile application processor to positively impact the growth of the mobile industry by enabling further performance improvements for cutting-edge smartphones.”
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The 14nm FinFET process will be adopted for first for the Samsung Exynos 7 Octa CPU. The Exynos 7 Octa uses a combination of ARM Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 chips to handle different processor demands for mobile applications.