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New chip production begins without issue

July 19,2019
Samsung Electronics has started production of the application processor (AP) for its new Galaxy Note10, apparently unhindered by ongoing Japanese restrictions on exports of key materials to Korea.

The new AP, the Exynos 9825, differs from previous models in that it uses 7-nanometer circuit technology, a smaller size of circuitry compared to previous models using 8-nanometer technology.

The technology that enables the Exynos 9825’s tiny circuitry is extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. The production facility of the chip was visited by President Moon Jae-in in April when Samsung’s foundry business unit celebrated the shipping of the first wafer manufactured on this production line.

“There is no setback in the production of Exynos 9825,” an industry source told the JoongAng Ilbo on Wednesday. “According to my knowledge, the chips are being shipped to the assembly company as the fixed procedure in accordance with the launch schedule for the Note10.”

The “assembly company” refers to Samsung Electronics’ IT and mobile division. There have been worries that Japanese export restrictions on high-tech materials would hinder Samsung’s push to fully adopt the EUV process on its production lines. But according to industry sources, the production quantity has not been affected by the Japanese measures.

The Exynos 9825 will be selectively applied to Note10 models sold in several markets including Korea and India. Unlike domestic models, the Note10 shipped to the United States and Europe will contain U.S.-based Qualcomm’s 7-nano AP Snapdragon 855, or its more recently release the Snapdragon 855 Plus. Qualcomm placed orders for the Snapdragon 855 to Taiwan’s TSMC foundry.

Currently the 7-nano EUV process has been added to a small portion of Samsung’s existing production lines. Samsung plans to fully set-up an EUV-exclusive production line by September and start mass production here around January.

BY KIM YOUNG-MIN [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]


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