When the first data on Samsung’s 4nm process leaked in 2017, it turned out that it would no longer be based on FinFET technology, but would be created from GAA. Over time, however, Samsung changed plans and decided to use GAA, specifically MBCFET, for up to 3nm generation and 4nm to remain on FinFET (using EUV lithography, of course). The 4nm LPE (low-power early) variant was to be available in 2020, but later this plan was re-evaluated for 2021. The 4nm LPP (low-power plus) variant in 2022.
Now, there are reports that Samsung will completely skip the 4nm process, so there will be no such variant within this generation. After 5nm generation, up to 3nm with MBCFET technology will start. This change is probably due to one of two possible causes: Either Samsung has experienced some difficulty in developing the 4nm generation, or has learned that Apple will not be interested in the 4nm LPE process (Samsung developed LPE processes in an effort to win Apple orders) and in preparation so there is no point in continuing. Why would 4nm LPP be disturbed? Because it is planned for 2022 as well as the 3nm process and in itself would not have a chance to appeal to customers too much (they will not design a chip for the process, which will be replaced in a number of months by a better solution).
But it’s not very good for Samsung, it basically serves customers 5nm of the TSMC process. In terms of density, it represents a generational leap compared to 7nm production and, in terms of consumption and cycles, a slight evolution. Samsung’s 5nm process represents a slight evolution of 7nm production in every way, so 4 nanometers should be what could successfully oppose the 5nm generation of TSMC. Samsung is obviously trying to focus more on the critical 3nm process, which can significantly ruin the competition. Recently, however, Samsung’s similar strategy did not pay off: When TSMC tried to overtake with the deployment of EUV on the 7nm process and omitted the non-EUV version altogether, it encountered problems and while TSMC switched to 7nm process, 7nm EUV process and 6nm process, Samsung was still solving problems. .