Nvidia, the world’s second-largest semiconductor design company, will produce its next-generation graphics processing units (GPUs) using Samsung Electronics’ 7 nanometer (NM) extreme ultra-violet (EUV) processes. Industry experts say that it is very symbolic that Nvidia joins hands with Samsung Electronics instead of Taiwan’s TSMC, the world’s number one foundry company and a long-standing partner of Nvidia.
Nvidia will entrust the production of its next-generation GPU Ampere, which will be launched next year, to Samsung Electronics, foreign news outlets and industry sources said on June 6. The Ampere is Nvidia’s first 7-nm product. At the moment, the company is producing 12-nm GPUs. Nvidia was expected to use TSMC to produce its first 7-nm product, but contrary to expectations, it decided to partner with Samsung Electronics.
Nvidia is the world’s second-largest fabless company with revenues reaching US$10.39 billion in 2018. This deal with Nvidia is expected to make it easier for Samsung Electronics to secure large customers in the future. GPUs are Nvidia’s flagship product and are used for the 5G mobile telecommunications, AI, and autonomous vehicles.
Taiwan-based media outlets, however, downplayed the significance of the deal, saying that Nvidia chose Samsung because TSMC’s 7-nm production lines have reached their full capacities.
A notable fact is that Samsung Electronics is focusing on securing customers rather than earning profits. “The semiconductor industry has doubts about the yield of Samsung’s 7-nm EUV process, but the price Samsung has offered to Nvidia was enough to offset this matter,” they added.
Nvidia urgently needed a foundry that can produce 7-nm chips at a low cost. One reason is that its rival AMD has already launched a 7-nm GPU. More importantly, cost-cutting has become important…