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How did Samsung Beat TSMC to Secure 2nm Deal with Leading AI Firm in Japan

PFN had a longstanding partnership with TSMC since 2016, so their decision to switch to Samsung indicates a potential shift in the industry.
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In a significant development in the semiconductor industry, Samsung Electronics has recently clinched a groundbreaking order from a prominent Japanese artificial intelligence (AI) company, Preferred Networks (PFN). Samsung Beat TSMC to Secure this 2nm Deal.

This achievement not only underscores Samsung’s prowess in advanced foundry services but also signifies a pivotal moment in its rivalry with industry leader TSMC.

PFN had a longstanding partnership with TSMC since 2016, so their decision to switch to Samsung indicates a potential shift in the industry.

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How did Samsung Beat TSMC to Secure 2nm Deal

PFN, established in 2014, is a major player in AI deep learning development, supplying solutions across various industries based on its proprietary deep learning framework, Chainer. The company has garnered investments from leading Japanese corporations such as Toyota, NTT, and Fanuc, showcasing its technological prowess and market relevance.

PFN’s decision to entrust Samsung Electronics with the production of its AI chips, transitioning from its previous partnership with TSMC, speaks volumes about Samsung’s growing influence in the foundry landscape.

An example of Turnkey Solutions. Image Credits: Samsung

There seem to be two main reasons why PFN chose Samsung over TSMC for their 2nm AI chips:

Full-service capabilities: Apparently, Samsung offered a more comprehensive package, handling everything from chip design to production and even advanced packaging . This could be a big advantage for PFN, saving them time and resources compared to managing different vendors for each stage.

Competitive pricing: There are speculations that Samsung might be offering lower prices for its 2nm process compared to TSMC. This could be a strategic move by Samsung to gain a foothold in the advanced chip market and attract more clients.

It’s interesting to note that PFN had a longstanding partnership with TSMC since 2016, so their decision to switch to Samsung indicates a potential shift in the industry.

How did Samsung Beat TSMC to Secure 2nm Deal: The Role of Technology

At the heart of this milestone lies Samsung’s cutting-edge 2-nanometer process, a technology poised to redefine the boundaries of semiconductor manufacturing. With mass production slated to commence in 2025, Samsung’s 2-nanometer process promises unparalleled performance and efficiency, positioning it as a formidable competitor to TSMC’s offerings.

Samsung 2 nm Process

PFN’s adoption of Samsung’s 2-nanometer technology signifies a vote of confidence in Samsung’s technological capabilities and a strategic move to leverage the benefits of next-generation chip manufacturing.

How did Samsung Beat TSMC to Secure 2nm Deal: Turnkey Solutions and Competitive Advantage

A key factor in PFN’s decision to partner with Samsung Electronics was the turnkey advantages offered by Samsung, particularly in high bandwidth memory (HBM) and advanced packaging technology. Samsung’s integrated approach, encompassing the 2-nanometer process, HBM3, and 2.5D packaging, presented a compelling value proposition for PFN.

By offering this turnkey solution, Samsung Electronics provides PFN with a one-stop-shop for their AI accelerator chip needs. Instead of dealing with multiple vendors for different components of chip development, PFN can rely on Samsung’s expertise across the entire process.

This integrated approach not only simplifies the manufacturing process for PFN but also ensures a higher level of compatibility and optimization between different elements of the chip, ultimately leading to a more efficient and powerful end product.

Implications for the Industry:

Samsung Electronics’ success in securing the PFN order not only strengthens its position in the foundry market but also highlights the evolving dynamics of the semiconductor industry. With the race for technological supremacy intensifying, Samsung’s ability to attract major customers like PFN underscores its competitiveness and innovation-driven approach.

Moreover, the shift towards Samsung from TSMC reflects a broader trend of diversification in the semiconductor supply chain, as companies seek to mitigate risks and explore alternative partnerships.

Challenges and Future Outlook:

While Samsung’s triumph in securing the PFN order marks a significant milestone, challenges lie ahead in realizing the full potential of its 2-nanometer technology. Industry experts caution that the focus should extend beyond process advantages to ensure seamless supply chain management and address the complexities associated with advanced packaging technologies.

Nonetheless, Samsung’s strategic investments in research and development, coupled with its established track record in memory and foundry businesses, position it favorably for future success.


Samsung Electronics’ recent feat in securing a major order for 2-nanometer AI chips from PFN represents a watershed moment in the semiconductor industry. As Samsung continues to push the boundaries of innovation and redefine the norms of chip manufacturing, the implications of this development reverberate across the industry, signaling a new era of competition and collaboration. With the promise of transformative technologies on the horizon, the stage is set for Samsung to emerge as a dominant force in the global semiconductor landscape.

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