Google Tensor SoC

Samsung Foundry, the world’s second-largest foundry after TSMC, is preparing to mass-produce chips using its third-generation 4nm process node. After experiencing yield issues with its 4nm chip production last year, Qualcomm moved production of its Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 to TSMC.

In addition to improved yield rates, Samsung’s performance and energy efficiency have improved from 35% last year to 60% now. This year, we might see Google’s Pixel 8 lineup debut the new 4nm process node.

Despite being the most advanced node, Samsung’s 4nm and 5nm processes account for 22% of chips manufactured during the third quarter of last year compared to 16% manufactured using 6nm and 7nm. This year, only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra are expected to use 3nm silicon.

It is likely that Google’s Pixel 8 series, which will be released in the fourth quarter of this year, will use the third-generation 4nm process node and the Tensor 3 chipset. Tensor 2, built on Samsung’s second-generation 4nm node, is expected to power the Pixel Fold, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel 7a.

Starting next year, both TSMC and Samsung plan to produce 4nm chips in the United States, with TSMC’s fab in Phoenix, Arizona, and Samsung Foundry’s in Taylor, Texas, adding 4nm production lines. TSMC plans to begin shipping 2nm chips in 2026, while Samsung plans to begin 2nm production in 2025, followed by 1.4nm production in 2027. As well as matching Samsung Foundry and TSMC in 2024, Intel intends to regain process leadership the following year.