Samsung beats TSMC to mass produce 3nm chips

STORY: In a global first Samsung said it's begun mass production of the most advanced microchip yet, beating chipmaking frontrunner, Taiwan's TMSC, to the punch.

For decades these chips, which can be used as mobile processors and in high-performance computing, have become faster and more power-efficient as their most basic building blocks - called transistors - get smaller, and the chips become more dense with parts.

Currently, conventional chips use the 5-nanometer design.

But Samsung said its newly-developed 3-nanometer process is almost twice as power-efficient, and is said to improve performance by more than 20%.

Samsung is aiming to overtake TSMC as the world's top chipmaker by 2030.

But for now the Taiwanese company - whose chips are used by Apple and Qualcomm - is far bigger, controlling about 54% of the global market.

Samsung is a distant second with a 16.3% market share, according to data provider TrendForce.

But Samsung is hoping to lure new customers with its new tech.

The South Korean firm however did not name clients for its new made-to-order chips.

Analysts say Samsung itself and Chinese companies are expected to be among the initial customers.

But amid persistent global chip shortages, companies from automakers to appliance makers will be rushing to secure capacity.

The next round in the chips race might just see TSMC pull ahead.

The company is planning a 2-nanometre volume production in 2025.