Samsung Shows 3D AI Chip Packaging Tech to Rival TSMC

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest memory chipmaker, is preparing to launch an advanced 3D chip packaging technology called SAINT (Samsung Advanced Interconnection Technology.) The goal is to compete with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (SMC), the leader in foundry services. SAINT technology enables the merging memory and processors required for high-performance chips, including AI chips, in significantly smaller sizes.

SAINT technology consists of three different packaging techniques: SAINT S, which vertically stacks SRAM memory chips and the CPU; Saint D, which involves vertical packaging of processors (such as the CPU and GPU) and DRAM memory; and SAINT L, which stacks application processors (APs.) Samsung’s approach focuses on vertical integration rather than the traditional side-by-side horizontal assembly, resulting in improved efficiency and smaller form factors.

Validation tests have already been conducted successfully for some of Samsung’s SAINT technologies, notably SAINT S. After further testing with clients, commercial services are expected to launch next year. Packaging plays a crucial role in semiconductor manufacturing, protecting chips against corrosion and facilitating the combination and connection of manufactured chips.

In the race of advanced packaging, major chipmakers like TSMC, Samsung, and Intel Corp. are investing heavily in research and development. Advanced packaging allows for the integration of various semiconductors or the vertical interconnection of multiple chips, enhancing semiconductor performance without the need for shrinking the nanometer through complex processes.

The global advanced chip packaging market is projected to reach $66 billion by 2027, with 3D packaging accounting for approximately $15 billion. TSMC has been a pioneer in this market with its 2.5D packaging technology, while Samsung is positioning itself as a strong competitor with its SAINT technology. Other players like United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) and Intel are also exploring innovative 3D IC projects and next-generation packaging technologies.

Samsung’s commitment to chip packaging technology is evident in its previous advancements, including the H-Cube technology introduced in 2021. SAINT technology represents Samsung’s dedication to improving the performance of AI chips for data centers and mobile applications, particularly those incorporating on-device AI functionalities.

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