Samsung partners with Zeiss seeking AI chipmaking dominance

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Lee Jae-yong, Chairman of Samsung Electronics met top executives at Zeiss, regarding a crucial partnership for the Korean tech giant’s push to lead the chipmaking market in the era of artificial intelligence. For those unaware, German lens manufacturer Zeiss is also a supplier of optical equipment for EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography machines, which are key to chipmaking. The Zeiss officials have agreed to expand their partnership with Samsung regarding their EUV technologies.

Samsung Zeiss partnership could benefit the Korean giant in its EUV chipmaking

Zeiss has some unique technologies for lithography optics and photomask systems that could benefit Samsung through a partnership in its advanced chipmaking. The Korean tech giant noted that the collaboration with Zeiss would help the company improve the performance of its next-generation chips, better optimize the manufacturing process, and achieve a higher yield rate.

Zeiss has more than 2000 patents related to the EUV technologies. This company is the only supplier of optical equipment to ASML for its EUV chipmaking machines. Zeiss reportedly supplies more than 30,000 parts for one EUV lithography machine of ASML.

The Samsung chief visited the Zeiss headquarters in Oberkochen on Friday and discussed long-term partnerships with the executives. Currently, Samsung is the world’s top memory chip maker and is also expanding its chip business considering the rising demand for AI-focused chips on the market.

Samsung aims to develop advanced chips that are key to the development of AI

According to KED Global, Samsung is aiming to lead the under-3nm process nodes with the EUV technology. Additionally, the company is also aiming to utilize the advanced EUV chip manufacturing tech for its sixth-generation 10nm DRAM chips. Reportedly, the partnership could help Samsung in improving the yield rate, which is crucial for its business. An improved process will also help the company in reducing its reliance on Qualcomm for its smartphone business.

With the AI boom, the demand for high-performance memory chips is also rising sharply and Samsung is one of the biggest suppliers of this product. The reason behind the increasing demand is that high bandwidth memory is a crucial component in developing AI models.

Samsung is also aiming to commercialize its 2nm chips by next year and 1.4 nm chips by 2027. The company has been mass-producing 3nm chips since last year. Zeiss is also planning to invest $35 million to build its first-ever overseas R&D center for research microscopy solutions in Korea.

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