Samsung surprised the industry by showing off the world's first chip manufactured at a 10nm FinFET process at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco. Kinam Kim, the president of Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor business, said the first chips based on its 10nm process will likely hit the market in late 2016 or sometime in 2017.
The 10nm FinFET process from Samsung will be used to manufacture smartphone and tablet chips but the company also hopes to use it for data center and Internet of Things chips.
Beyond 10nm things will get trickier, but 7nm and 5nm manufacturing technologies are perfectly viable. Dr. Kinam Kim believes that at 7nm it makes sense to switch to a new transistor structure from FinFET/tri-gate. According to the executive, gate-all-around FETs will be viable at 7nm and beyond, reports TechOn. In GAA FETs gate material surrounds the channel region on all sides; GAA FETs can have two or four effective gates. It is interesting to note that Gate-all-around FETs have been implemented both using silicon nanowire as well as Indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) nanowires. Therefore, it is possible that Samsung, just like Intel, is mulling to use InGaAs material at 7nm and beyond.