It may take until 2016, but Samsung is getting ready to start the manufacturing process of its 10nm FinFET mobile chips (we're used to 14 and 16 nm being the “new” high-end SoC norm). Said to offer more power, area, and efficiency, the rise to 10 nm will establish the South Korean tech giant's aggressiveness in the industry- an area once thought to be taken over by TSMC from Taiwan. In fact, Samsung beat TSMC in developing the first 14 nm FinFET process (after Intel), so lets see who will bust out this 10nm structure first. We've got a feeling it could very well be Samsung.
This generation would mark Samsung's third generation of FinFET transistors, 14 nm and 16 nm being the most recent. The 14 nm chips, which offer marked increases in power efficiency and accelerated performance levels (an example would be the Exynos 7420 processor in the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones), are also known for their tremendous Power/Performance/Area (PPA) capabilities (Tom's Hardware). Hence, inviting a 10 nm structure into the mix would come with great innovation. There's even talk of a 7 nm structure by 2017, but, let's take things one step at a time for now.
Interestingly enough, Apple may end up being the deciding factor when it comes to who crosses the 10 nm finish line first. This is because of the company's massive demand for wafer orders, totaling over 40,000 a month. So, whoever it decides to purchase from, Samsung, Intel, TSMC, etc, that company would receive over $8 billion in capital expenditures, according to Next Big Future. It is kinda scary not knowing where Intel stands on its 10 nm progress. Considering it was the first to launch the 14 nm, we can only expect the company is ahead of the curve already. Still, Samsung has set a general date of 2016 for its new processors, so, perhaps we will see them in next year's Apple and Samsung flagships.
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