CPU wafers in process (via stock photography)
Next year, 2013, looks to be the year Samsung gives Intel a run for its money in shrinking processor die’s for smaller faster chips. While Intel’s Ivy Bridge line is certainly impressive at 22nm, Samsung has stated that their looking to reduce mobile chip designs down to an astounding 14nm for the next generation of mobile devices coming next year. The Korean chip manufacturer is investing 1.9 billion US (2.25 trillion Korean won) in Hwaseong, South Korea for a new fabrication line that will produce 300mm wafers with 20 and 14nm logic chips. As mobile devices are becoming more popular than computers, demand for these semiconductor chips is set to skyrocket. Speculation from market researchers (Gartner) say’s that current demands for smartphone and tablets alone is set to grow from $23.4 billion US in 2011 to a 20% increase of $59.4 billion US by 2016. Sure, shrinking of the fabrication process down to 14nm will indeed create a smaller footprints, but it will also generate much less heat. It will be interesting to see how these new chips will be packaged inside devices.