Despite rivalry, both lag behind Intel
EETimes (10/6/2014 06:40 PM EDT)
TAIPEI, Taiwan — TSMC, which has more than half the global foundry business, has overtaken Samsung in the FinFET race to commercial production that the South Korean company was leading this year, according to industry analysts. Both companies lag Intel, which is making FinFET chips internally.
"Recent developments suggest TSMC has taken the lead over Samsung at developing [16/14nm] FinFET manufacturing technology," Mehdi Hosseini, a San Francisco analyst who covers TSMC and Samsung for Susquehanna Financial analyst, said in an Oct. 1 report.
Checks with industry experts suggest Samsung's foundry has experienced a setback with its 14nm FinFET project, while TSMC's 16nm pilot line is gaining incremental confidence among prospective customers, Hosseini said in the report. TSMC and Samsung are in a tight race to provide FinFET products to their biggest customers, Apple and Qualcomm, each of which aims to offer improved performance and lower power consumption in smartphones with the higher-density chips. However, the development of 3D-structured FinFETs has been fraught with difficulty for the two companies.
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