Samsung on Wednesday announced that it has started mass production of the second-generation 10nm FinFET process technology. That’s Samsung’s boring way of saying that it’s now ready to mass-produce one of the Galaxy S9’s most important components, the next-gen Exynos processor that will power the Galaxy S9 models.
Just like other Samsung flagships before, the Galaxy S9 will use a mix of Qualcomm and Exynos chips, including the Snapdragon 845 and the Exynos 9810, and Samsung may be manufacturing both of them.
Samsung’s announcement lists some of the features of its second-generation 10nm FinFET 10LPP (Low Power Plus) chips.
The chips should be 10% faster and 15% more power efficient than the first-gen 10nm 10LPE (Low Power Early) chips that equipped 2017 flagship Android devices, including Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Note 8. Samsung built both the Exynos 8895 and the Snapdragon 835 used in those devices.
As expected, Samsung doesn’t say what devices will make use of these 10nm speedy and energy-efficient chips. But the company does say that devices packing “10LPP process technology will be used in digital devices scheduled to launch early next year and are expected to become more widely available throughout the year.”
The Galaxy S9 is rumored to be unveiled in early 2018, maybe as soon as January. Some reports say the phone will get a limited Snapdragon 845 exclusivity. If accurate, that means Samsung would be the only device maker to have access to 10LPP chips early next year. That’s what happened this year with the Snapdragon 835 chip.
Samsung said that its new 10nm chips will be built at its newest manufacturing line, the S3 plant in Hwaseong, Korea. Samsung’s 7nm chips will also be mass-produced at the S3 facility.