Samsung will soon start producing second generation 10nm chips

Intel made the “tick-tock” approach famous and while things have gotten more complicated recently, the basic rhythm of chip releases lives on. Samsung has announced that the second generation of its 10nm process is ready for production and the company is increasing its manufacturing capacity.

The Snapdragon 835 and Exynos 8895 are built on 10nm LPE (Low Power Early). The second generation is called 10nm LPP (for Low Power Plus) and features enhancements to the 3D FinFET structure.

The result is a 10% performance gain or a 15% power consumption reduction. We will probably see 10nm LPP used for the refreshed version of both the Snapdragon and Exynos top chips. Samsung is installing manufacturing equipment at its newest production line (S3 in Hwaseong, Korea), those will be ready to start cranking out chips in the final quarter of this year.

An example of moving form LPE to LPP are the Galaxy S6 and S7 - the Exynos 7420 (S6) was built on 14nm LPE while the Exynos 8890 (S7) upgraded to 14nm LPP. However, the new process accounts for only some of the improvements. For example, the Snapdragon 820 and 821 were both built on the same 14nm LPP process, but the new one worked at higher clock speeds.