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Discussion Is Samsung's 7nm in as bad a state as Intel's 10nm?

moinmoin

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Jun 1, 2017
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Reddit user FloundersEdition did an interesting take on @Andrei.'s The Samsung Galaxy S20+, S20 Ultra Exynos & Snapdragon Review: Megalomania Devices.

  • Samsungs 7LPP (with EUV) is a power hog like Intels 10nm
  • even with more power 7LPP can't reach TSMCs clocks
  • A76 cores on Samsungs 7LPP proccess are much worse in efficiency compared to A76 cores in an N7P Kirin 990 (about 20-30%). This is not SoC related, since both Exynos and Snapdragon 765G (on 7LPP too) show this

That would mean two of the remaining three bleeding edge node foundries have issues with their latest node.
 

tamz_msc

Platinum Member
Jan 5, 2017
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Have they run in to problems with EUV? Maybe they rushed it? It would seem that TSMC and Intel were right to take EUV adoption more slowly.
 
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gorobei

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Jan 7, 2007
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samsung had to hire/steal a former tsmc lead who brought a bunch of trade secrets with him a gen/node back. he was supposed to be teaching at a korean university while his non-compete clause ran out but they found he was actively coordinating with samsungs fabs.

i guess they really needed that leg up to stay even with tsmc.
 

DisEnchantment

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Mar 3, 2017
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7LPP is the start of Samsung's "7nm" and I suppose it was rushed. When they added 6nm just about a year ago it seems to suggest that not everything is well with their 7nm.
6LPP should be better and would have fixed glaring issues with 7LPP and they started mass production in its new fab already.
I think it is good that they just iterate on it till late 2021 instead of adding a real node on the way to 3GAE.

6nm is similar in density to N7+ so it should be competitive for a lot of applications in the near future since TSMC will also be wafer constrained.

TechInsights has an analysis by slicing the Exynos 990, but not public yet. Slightly denser than N7 HP but maintaining high drive currents comparable to TSMC's 3/3 fin layout.
Performance should be up there, but probably efficiency not so much.


1586379266149.png
 
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NostaSeronx

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Sep 18, 2011
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Isn't EUV supposed to cut manufacturing time and also cut power usage vs non EUV?
EUV has a lower wph speed and uses more power than 193i. JFIL is the one you are thinking about.

EUV => 600 kilowatts to 2400 kilowatts
193i => 70 kilowatts
JFIL => 2 kilowatts(one cluster) to 12 kilowatts(six cluster) // the machines are smaller than 193i and EUV. With EUV wph expected to be surpassed anytime now and 193i wph for 2021-2022.
 
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DrMrLordX

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Apr 27, 2000
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@moinmoin

Might be true, though the Snapdragon 865 still looks like a bit of a power hog, at least at idle. It's more-efficient than the Exynos 990 though, and faster too. Still sheds a bit of light as to why some phone makers (Google, LG) won't be adopting the Snapdragon 865 at all, though they will use the 765G. Samsung may not be charging much for 7LPP if it really has such unfavorable characteristics.
 

Ajay

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Jan 8, 2001
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@moinmoin

Might be true, though the Snapdragon 865 still looks like a bit of a power hog, at least at idle. It's more-efficient than the Exynos 990 though, and faster too. Still sheds a bit of light as to why some phone makers (Google, LG) won't be adopting the Snapdragon 865 at all, though they will use the 765G. Samsung may not be charging much for 7LPP if it really has such unfavorable characteristics.
And weren't they giving away a free mask set for new design wins? Samsung really wanted to play in the big leagues with TSMC, but dropped the ball apparently. Samsung wouldn't even have been this close to TSMC, if it weren't for some serious poaching of a particular highly successful scientist from their competitor (technically, he worked for a Korean university - lols).
 
Mar 11, 2004
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@moinmoin

Might be true, though the Snapdragon 865 still looks like a bit of a power hog, at least at idle. It's more-efficient than the Exynos 990 though, and faster too. Still sheds a bit of light as to why some phone makers (Google, LG) won't be adopting the Snapdragon 865 at all, though they will use the 765G. Samsung may not be charging much for 7LPP if it really has such unfavorable characteristics.
LG is using the 865 in the V60. But it very well could have played a role in the situation with the G series this year.

There were rumors that Samsung was offering pretty exceptional deals to try and woo customers for their new processes.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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And weren't they giving away a free mask set for new design wins?
Wouldn't surprise me. I have no knowledge of that, however. I can only speculate that they were offering deals to potential fab clients.

LG is using the 865 in the V60.
Interesting.


Looks like they were wrong about LG. The V60 does indeed use the Snapdragon 865.
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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@moinmoin

Might be true, though the Snapdragon 865 still looks like a bit of a power hog, at least at idle. It's more-efficient than the Exynos 990 though, and faster too. Still sheds a bit of light as to why some phone makers (Google, LG) won't be adopting the Snapdragon 865 at all, though they will use the 765G. Samsung may not be charging much for 7LPP if it really has such unfavorable characteristics.
That probably has more to do with the non-integrated modem, and requirement that customers take a 5G modem. It's a shitty monopolistic move.
 

maddie

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Jul 18, 2010
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And weren't they giving away a free mask set for new design wins? Samsung really wanted to play in the big leagues with TSMC, but dropped the ball apparently. Samsung wouldn't even have been this close to TSMC, if it weren't for some serious poaching of a particular highly successful scientist from their competitor (technically, he worked for a Korean university - lols).
Good idea here for a conspiracy tale.

TSMC allows a partial reveal of the 7nm process to a competitor while keeping other critical secrets hidden, luring them down the wrong path. :eek:
 
Mar 11, 2004
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Wouldn't surprise me. I have no knowledge of that, however. I can only speculate that they were offering deals to potential fab clients.



Interesting.


Looks like they were wrong about LG. The V60 does indeed use the Snapdragon 865.
It probably did play a role in the G series (LG is apparently not going to sell that in the US this year, and are instead going to go with a lower chip and sell it internationally). Also the V60 is really big (larger than the S20 Ultra even), and has a big battery (5000mAH or whatever), although it supposedly gets really good battery life. That could partly be due to them going with a lower resolution display and also eschewing higher refresh rates, which might have been decisions made to offset 5G modem drain. They do have the optional 2nd display case that chews through battery so that might have been the biggest factor in all of those decisions. Tough to say.

Which, I'm actually thinking about the V60, but I think I would've preferred if it had the lower chip with integrated modem, which could've enabled them to make it thinner or add an even bigger battery, both of which would be beneficial if they're pushing the 2nd display.
 

Lodix

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Jun 24, 2016
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Stop the conspiracy theories. The SD865 is more efficient than last year 855. It even sucks less maximum power at peak performance of the CPU and GPU. You can check the numbers on the S20 review.

The only "problem" with the SD865 is the lack of integrated modem. Which increases the price of the package because you now have to buy 2 separate chips that take more space inside the phone.

And the 20-30% deficit in efficiency of SS 7LPP is compared to TSMC 7+ EUV. Not the base 7nm, which has similar efficiency to SS 7LPP. At least comparing the SD765 with the SD855 middle cores.

Samsung foundry is currently ~1 year behind TSMC in leading technology.
 
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Lodix

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Jun 24, 2016
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@Lodix

I thought the Snapdragon 865 used N7P (DUV), not N7+ (EUV).
Yes, it uses the second generation of TSMC 7nm which brings some performance and power benefits.

But what is your point ?

EDIT: The Exynos 990 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 use 7LPP EUV from Samsung.
 

Lodix

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Jun 24, 2016
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Point is Snapdragon 865 isn't using an EUV node. You said it was.
Where ? I talked about 2 different things.

First that the SD865 doesn't consume a lot of power as some of you were saying.

And second that the SS 7LPP is not at bad as OP was implying.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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Where ? I talked about 2 different things.
https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/is-samsungs-7nm-in-as-bad-a-state-as-intels-10nm.2579226/post-40129040

Looked to me like you were saying the Snapdragon 865 was using an EUV node.

First that the SD865 doesn't consume a lot of power as some of you were saying.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/15603/the-samsung-galaxy-s20-s20-ultra-exynos-snapdragon-review-megalomania-devices/11

At least @ idle, the S20 Ultra with an 865 is the worst of the lot. It seems to do better when actually doing something. Could be due to the modem.
 

Lodix

Senior member
Jun 24, 2016
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At least @ idle, the S20 Ultra with an 865 is the worst of the lot. It seems to do better when actually doing something. Could be due to the modem.
We don't know the reason, it could be the modem, the mmWave antennas, Samsung messing around or a combination of all of them or something completely different.
But the end result is not a regression in battery life compared to the SD865, although a bit disappointing from the S20. We will see more devices being reviewed to compare.
 
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