samsung foundry wafer semiconductor 678

Samsung this week reported their monetary outcomes for the second quarter of 2023, closing the e book on an particularly bleak quarter of the 12 months with an enormous $3.4 billion working loss. The losses, stemming from its semiconductor enterprise, come amid a continued hunch in 3D NAND and DRAM gross sales volumes and costs. Although buried deep in Samsung’s earnings report was a speck of fine information, as nicely: the corporate has began to provide its third 3nm chip design with secure yield.

Discussing Samsung Foundry’s earnings, the corporate stays unsure about demand restoration within the second half. “Demand to get well steadily beneath appreciable uncertainty over the depth of a market restoration in 2H, with shopper sentiment to rebound amid easing inflation and as clients wind down stock changes,” a press release by Samsung reads.

Extra broadly, Samsung income dropped sharply, with the corporate recording a 22% year-over-year decline to $46.915 billion. Earnings of Samsung’s semiconductor divisions — together with reminiscence, SoCs, and foundry operations — declined to $29.86 billion, 48% YoY drop. Gross sales of reminiscence hit $7 billion, a 57% year-over-year decline, although eking out a 1% quarter-over-quarter improve. Total, Samsung recorded a $3.4 billion loss from its semiconductor operations as a consequence of low demand for commodity reminiscence and declining commodity 3D NAND and DRAM costs.

However there have been some vibrant spots in Samsung’s DRAM enterprise, as nicely. Demand for high-performance high-density premium merchandise like DDR5 modules and HBM reminiscence elevated, which helped to partially offset sluggish gross sales of commodity reminiscence.

“Bit development exceeded steerage as we expanded gross sales of server merchandise whereas actively responding to rising demand for DDR5 and AI-use HBM,” Samsung mentioned. “Demand for high-density/high-performance merchandise stayed sturdy, pushed by elevated investments specializing in AI by main hyperscalers.”

Whereas Samsung expects demand for reminiscence to get well within the second half, the corporate is anticipating to enact further manufacturing cuts to additional help reminiscence costs.

“We anticipate to see a gradual restoration of the reminiscence market within the second half of the 12 months, however the tempo of the market rebound is more likely to rely upon our macro variables,” mentioned Jaejune Kim, government vice chairman of reminiscence division. “

Kim mentioned that Samsung can be making additional alterations to the output of some merchandise, together with 3D NAND.

“Manufacturing cuts throughout the business are more likely to proceed within the second half, and demand is predicted to steadily get well as purchasers proceed to destock their (chip) stock,” a press release by Samsung reads.

Lastly, as famous earlier, as a part of Samsung’s earnings report the corporate additionally revealed that it is began manufacturing on its third 3nm (GAAFET) chip.

“Mass manufacturing of our third GAA product goes easily due to the stabilization of the 3nm course of, and we’re creating an improved course of for 3nm as deliberate based mostly on mass manufacturing expertise with GAA,” a statement by Samsung reads.

It recently transpired that Samsung Foundry has been producing the Whatsminer M56S++ cryptocurrency mining ASIC on its SF3E node (previously often called 3GAE, 3nm gate-all-around early) for a while. It turned out a bit later that there’s PanSemi, one other developer of cryptocurrency mining {hardware}, that makes use of Samsung’s SF3E to make its mining ASIC. Now, Samsung confirms that there’s one other buyer that makes use of its newest manufacturing node, although the corporate is not disclosing any additional particulars concerning the shopper or their chip.

Producing tiny cryptocurrency mining ASICs is an efficient means take a look at a brand new fabrication course of on a industrial utility since even with a comparatively excessive defect density, yields of such chips will doubtless be adequate to be viable. In the meantime, Samsung Foundry’s SF3E course of know-how guarantees to extend efficiency and reduce down energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining ASICs (vs. related chips made on previous-generation nodes) and these are precisely that targets that miners want to hit to spice up their earnings.

Sources: Samsung, Reuters, Nikkei, SeekingAlpha

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