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Friday, April 19, 2024

Samsung Electronics promises memory-based supercomputer by 2028

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Kyung Kye-hyun, CEO of the Device Solutions business at Samsung Electronics, gives speech at KAIST on Thursday. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]
Kyung Kye-hyun, CEO of the Device Solutions business at Samsung Electronics, gives speech at KAIST on Thursday. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]

Samsung Electronics will develop its own supercomputer by the end of 2028.

“Samsung Electronics aims to develop a memory-based supercomputer by 2028,” Kyung Kye-hyun, CEO of the Device Solutions business at Samsung Electronics said Thursday during a speech given at KAIST in Daejeon.

“Research and development will mainly take place in the United States as Korea does not have people with experience in supercomputer architecture yet.”

It is the first time the chipmaker offered details on the supercomputer development schedule.

Supercomputers perform at or near the highest operational rates, utilize tens of thousands of processors and can perform billions and trillions of calculations per second.

Until now, supercomputer architecture has involved multiple central processing units (CPUs) and graphical processing units (GPUs). But Kyung hopes Samsung Electronics make a supercompter wholly from memory chips.

Samsung Electronics established a supercomputing center at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology in June last year. The company and its related companies last year vowed to make 450 trillion won ($342 billion) of investment over five years in future growth engines, which include supercomputers and robots.

Kyung also disclosed his determination in the foundry business, saying Samsung Electronics aims to catch up with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in five years.

“In terms of technological competitiveness, Samsung Electronics is two years behind TSMC in 4-nanometer chips and one year behind in 3-nanometer chips,” Kyung said. “But as soon as TSMC enters the 2-nanometer chip making, Samsung can stand ahead.”

“It will take no longer than five years for Samsung to catch up with TSMC in terms of chip-making technologies.”

Kyung’s confidence comes in part as a result of Gate-All-Around (GAA) technology, which the chipmaker began utilizing in the production of 3-nanometer chips in June last year.

Samsung Electronics was the world’s first company to produce a GAA-based 3-nanometer chip.

The GAA architecture is designed to enhance the transistor density of chips and improve energy efficiency. Production of 3-nanometer chips with the technology reduces power usage by up to 45 percent and improves performance by 23 percent. The design allows for more expanded and flexible current flows across channels at transistor gates compared to the widely used finFET technique.

“Our GAA-based 3-nanometer chips are getting good feedback from our clients,” Kyung said. “Though we can’t give details, we are working with almost all the big names.”

When asked about the impact of tensions between the United States and China, Kyung added, “Though we have to get approval for our investment in Xi’an, China, the United States is not giving us pressure that will affect to our business.”

“The U.S.-China tension is a type of inflection point, and there, we’ll have both opportunities and crises.”

BY SARAH CHEA [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]