Samsung appears to be having difficulty reaching production volumes of 3nm chips, addressing the problem by selectively relocating resources, decreasing deliverability of chips based on older manufacturing nodes.
It is unclear for now whether Samsung’s action will prolong the global semiconductor crisis, depriving some customers (e.g., the automotive industry) of critical semiconductors. What we can say with certainty is that Samsung does not have enough engineers for R&D work to allow it to streamline 3nm chip production to a level that will cover current orders. And since these chips also bring in the biggest gains, it’s somewhat predictable that the South Koreans will divert some of their resources from other lines of business, such as putting into production and pursuing low-cost chips based on older but perfectly valid manufacturing nodes in less demanding applications. We’re talking about 65nm and 130nm chips, such as those used with consumer electronics like washing machines, automation and, of course, cars.
While Samsung may not have enough resources to cover all the manufacturing nodes in its offering, the good news is that the company’s recent developments seem to favor future success in the high-tech chip niche, especially since rival TSMC also recently announced delays with 3nm chip shipments. At the moment, even Samsung’s most advanced smartphone still uses a 4nm chipset, with 3nm technologies still unprepared for large-scale production of chipsets for mobile devices, not to mention even more demanding applications such as GPU units for powering NVIDIA or AMD graphics accelerators.