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[Photo Essay] Celebrating Spring at Samsung’s Semiconductor Manufacturing Sites


Spring has sprung, with summer fast approaching, and just like countless others across the Northern Hemisphere, the employees at Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor manufacturing sites have spent the last several weeks enjoying the terrific weather that comes with the season.


To help make this spring extra special, the centers, known for their strict protocols and security, organized their first official photo contest. Held from April 6 to May 3, the contest offered employees across four Samsung semiconductor campuses a chance to soak in the sun, admire blooming cherry blossoms, and share snapshots of the beauty that surrounds them every day.


Take a look at some of the contest’s standout submissions below.


“Canola Flowers, Pinwheels and Onyang” by Myeong-ho Lee


Budding flowers are a sure sign that spring has finally come. Viewers of this vibrant image of canola flowers and pinwheels may be surprised to learn that it was snapped not on Korea’s picturesque Jeju Island, but at Samsung’s Onyang Campus.


“Symphony of Spring” by Dae-young Kim


Dae-young Kim’s photograph, captured while strolling around the Hwaseong Campus at lunchtime, depicts rows of beautiful tulips lining a tranquil stream in front of the campus’s cafeteria.


“Cherry Blossom Road” by Sang-hun Kim


For Sang-hun Kim, the contest offered an excellent opportunity to enjoy the spring weather with colleagues. One day, when crossing the cherry blossom tree-lined road that leads to the Onyang Campus’s dormitory, Kim was reminded of the iconic cover of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album.


Inspired, Kim returned to the crosswalk with his colleagues to snap a fun, Abbey Road-esque photo. His usual route to work had instantly transformed into a scenic setting for an unforgettable shot.


“Spring, Colorful Pinwheels, and Us” by Sang-hun Kim


Elsewhere on the Onyang Campus, colleagues pose for a playful photo amongst pinwheels spinning in the warm spring breeze.


“Smiles in Spring” by Young-ho Shin


Employees at the Onyang Campus are all smiles as they pause for a photo beneath blooming cherry blossoms. As you can see from their beaming smiles, the team is enjoying the relaxing time together.


“Let’s Run Together” by Youngjong Yoon


Each spring, the Giheung and Hwaseong Campuses organize their annual employee fun run, the Spring Race for Love. Proceeds from the race go toward efforts to enrich the campuses’ respective communities. A Giheung Campus employee Youngjong Yoon captured this candid shot of race participants using his camera.


“Beautiful R&D Center” by Il-jin Shin


For Il-jin Shin, the all-glass exterior of the Onyang Campus’s R&D Center proved the perfect canvas for capturing the beauty of a bright spring sky.


“Building Flowers” by Il-jin Shin


Here we have another submission from Il-jin Shin, taken in front of the Onyang Campus’s TP Center. The bright pastel colors adorning Buildings 1, 2 and 3 reminded Shin of spring flowers in bloom.


“Night View of MR 1 Building at Hwaseong Campus” by Hyeon-gang Heo


The photo contest showcased the unique and creative perspectives of Samsung employees.


Light trails created by car and bus headlights symbolize the dynamic nature of Samsung’s semiconductor business. It took Hyeon-gang Heo quite a bit of time to find the perfect moment to take the photo. However, as he notes, the end result was well worth the wait.


“Line 17 at Night” by Dong-jin Lim


Lastly, we have the contest’s grand prize-winning entry, captured by Dong-jin Lim at the Hwaseong Campus. The image depicts two employees as they head back to work at the Line 17 building – the campus’s latest production facility.


The summer heat may be on its way, but the talented individuals at Samsung’s semiconductor manufacturing sites will continue to greet each day with the zeal of spring, and do their part to help usher in a brighter future.

Samsung Strengthens its Foundry Customer Support with New SAFE™ Foundry Ecosystem Program


Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, has announced today its continued commitment to first-pass silicon success for its foundry customers’ chip designs by launching the Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem (SAFETM) program.


The SAFETM program ensures deep collaboration between the Samsung Foundry, ecosystem partners, and customers to deliver competitive and robust System on Chip (SoC) designs based on certified key design components including Process Design Kit (PDK), reference flows with Design Methodologies(DM), Intellectual Property (IP), and ASIC design support.


“We are very excited to provide the comprehensive, collaborative, and qualified Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem to our customers to enable faster and more reliable SoC design success”, said Jong Shik Yoon, executive vice president of Foundry Technology Development at Samsung Electronics. “Together with our SAFETM partners, Samsung Foundry will provide certified design enablement solutions to existing strategic customers as well as innovative, new start-up customers. We welcome all current and future Ecosystem partners to join the new SAFETM program.”


The SAFETM program is based on three pillars :


  • EDA/DM : Provides extensively tested PDKs and reference flows (with design methodologies) that are backed by Samsung Foundry’s certification.
  • IP : Provides a full set of silicon qualified, application specific IP offerings from the early stage of process technology development. Customers can view a full list of IP solutions offered through SAFETM by accessing Samsung Foundry’s B2B site, CONNECT(
  • Design Services : Connects mid- to small-sized companies with qualified ASIC design services and support. Using design service partners of SAFETM, customers will benefit from easy access to process technology information, competitive price conditions, and committed resources for their SoC design success.


For more information about Samsung Foundry, please visit



Quotes from SAFETM  Partner Companies

  • Arm, Gus Yeung, vice president and general manager of Physical Design Group

“The Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem creates significant opportunities for the industry. Through our ongoing collaboration with the Samsung Foundry, we are enabling the ecosystem with access to leadership co-optimized physical IP solutions for enhancing next-generation SoC designs.”



  • AlphaHoldings, Donggi Kim, CEO

“It’s honor to be one of the initial member of SAFE. As a Korean design service partner, we are ready to support Samsung Foundry’s ASIC customers more effective way based on long-term collaboration with Samsung Foundry and competencies – leading edge process experiences, customer specific IP, high quality manpower, error free design capabilities, etc.”



  • Cadence, KT Moore, vice president, product management

“We’ve collaborated with Samsung Foundry for many years to enable our joint customers to achieve their aggressive design goals. We believe that the new SAFE foundry design program will facilitate innovation and help customers deliver designs to market even faster. Our support for Samsung Foundry’s process technologies continues to expand with our broadened IP portfolio and full EDA tool enablement with comprehensive reference flows.”



  • eSilicon, Hugh Durdan, vice president, strategy and products

“Through our Tier 1 ASIC work with Samsung Foundry, we understand Samsung Foundry’s advanced process technologies well. This allows us to offer differentiating IP targeted at the high-bandwidth networking, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G infrastructure markets using these advanced process technologies.”



  • Faraday, Steve Wang, President

“Samsung Foundry provides the most competitive grand ecosystem for the leading edge technologies. Since our establishment in 1993, Faraday has successfully delivered more than 2,200 ASIC mass production projects. Thus we are confident in our ability to leverage the SAFE program, targeting next-generation applications now and beyond.”



  • Mentor, Joe Sawicki, vice president, Design to Silicon

“Mentor is proud that it has been the signoff solution for Samsung’s own design efforts over the last two decades and Samsung Foundry since the foundry was launched in 2005. We are pleased to be continuing our close partnership with Samsung as it expands its ecosystem interactions via the Samsung SAFE initiative.”



  • Rambus, Luc Seraphin, senior vice president and general manager, Memory and Interfaces Division

“As ASIC and SoC designs continue to increase in complexity, high-speed interfaces are integral to successful design. This strong partnership between Rambus and Samsung across multiple nodes, ensures that we are providing a broad portfolio of high-quality solutions to our end customers. We are pleased to collaborate with Samsung Foundry to provide designers with leading high-speed SerDes and memory PHY IP solutions for easy integration into their chip designs.”



  • Synopsys, Deirdre Hanford, co-general manager, Design Group

“Our collaboration with Samsung Foundry since 2005 has enabled mutual customers to deliver state-of-the-art designs across a wide range of Samsung’s process technologies. The SAFE program will help accelerate adoption of Synopsys’ high-quality IP, market-leading tools, and comprehensive design services supporting Samsung Foundry for development of their differentiated SoCs.”



  • VeriSilicon, Wayne Dai, President and CEO

“Our experience in shipping high volume SoCs using Samsung 14nm and 10nm FinFET, as well as 28nm FD-SOI process demonstrates that Samsung Foundry has excellent potential for the China market. Now as a charter member of SAFE, we will expand our partnership to a new level enabling us to better support our mutual customers.”

Samsung Provides Invaluable Protection with Smart Card IC Solutions

Samsung Electronics is the driving force behind the technology securing the way we shop, the way we communicate, even the way we travel to different countries. The company is fully committed to growing the smart card industry through its integrated circuits (IC) that are present in a number of vital items we use every day. And as a leading player in the space, Samsung is already working with major organizations to help them to better protect consumers.


Take SIM cards, electronic IDs, e-passports and credit cards. One thing they all have in common is the fact that they all use smart card ICs. Samsung has been an important part of the movement to this ubiquity of the technology as the industry switches from older, less secure solutions such as magnetic strip cards.


For example, Samsung has led the SIM card market since 2006. And in 2013, Samsung was the first in the industry to be accredited with a CC EAL7 smart card IC, the highest level of security certification. The company will continue to expand here and elsewhere in the smart card IC market in the future thanks to the value-added solutions it is incorporating into its products, such as embedded Secure Element (eSE) or embedded flash.


[Samsung’s S3FT9MF smart card IC]


Expansion Based on Robust Security

The Samsung S3FT9MF smart card IC supports both ISO7816 contact and ISO14443 contactless interfaces, and is CC EAL6+ (Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level) certified, providing strong security countermeasures against various security threats such as template attacks, power attacks and reverse engineering.


Strong security and durability are of utmost importance when it comes to smart card ICs that hold extremely personal and private information. With a high level of security and a fast yet durable embedded flash solution with up to 500,000 write/erase cycles, Samsung’s smart card IC will continuously keep users’ personal information safe and sound in various forms of smart cards.


Samsung’s most recent smart card IC, S3FT9MF, is the solution for payment cards issued by financial institutions, such as Swiss banks, and has been expanding the smart card IC business to government IDs and other payment applications. The S3FT9MF is steadily being adopted as the main IC by several clients recently including a European tier-1 card manufacturer. Also, electronic IDs equipped with Samsung’s S3FTM9F are expected to become available in the first half of 2018.



Changing Standards

Traditional magnetic strip cards have been the de-facto solution for ID and payment cards since the 1960’s but concerns rose as the static information on the strips could easily be cloned. Smart card ICs have recently become an alternative solution with their stronger security attributes, as well as the versatility of the technology.


Such benefits of the smart card ICs have driven the transition to EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa; the global standard for payment cards with smart card ICs) cards in developed countries as well as the expanding adoption of e-passports and government-issued IDs. In the government ID sector alone, market estimates show an average of seven-percent in annual growth in quantity for smart card ICs from 2015 through 2022.* And as the market grows, Samsung is ready to expand.


* Source: ABI Research (2017 Q2)

[Photo Essay] An Intimate Look into Samsung’s Semiconductor Operations (Part 2)

Samsung Electronics was founded on the belief that the company’s most valuable asset is its people and that belief still stands true today. It’s not just capital expenditure or technology we invest in, but more importantly, in our people.



Coming to work may be a daily grind, but it helps if the walk to the office is a pleasant stroll. What also helps is that, under a few ground rules, employees use flexible working hours, making it easier to manage work-life balance.



Semiconductors are fabricated in “cleanrooms,” where the environment is strictly managed to keep internal conditions, such as temperature, humidity and air pressure, at a constant level. Such measures are optimized for the ever-shrinking chips being manufactured, today mostly designed in nanometer (nm) scale, as well as for the workers inside.



Given the fact that 10nm is about one 10,000th the width of a single strand of hair, even a particle in few-cubic-micrometers could easily damage the circuits on our advanced chips. Workers wear “smocks” to prevent particles from being released into the cleanroom and would go through an air shower before entering the area. Even special paper and pens are required to take notes in there.



One of the key initiatives that go in tandem with efficient manufacturing is the safety of our workers on site. More than 500 safety professionals on staff oversee everyday operations and conduct regular inspections to ensure that all of our facilities comply with the most stringent regulations, locally and globally.



Every team within the company is required to train at least one of its members as an emergency care agent. The agents receive 16 hours of training on emergency response, including life-saving techniques such as CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and the Heimlich maneuver.



Employees are also trained to put out fires. As shown above, new hires begin safety training when they are initially hired and continue on a monthly basis throughout their careers based on a custom-curated curriculum.



Of course, there is a lot of research, development and other day-to-day businesses that go on but it’s also vital for us to stay active. Several sports fields around campus as well as an indoor stadium are very popular with more than 160 inter-company sports clubs’ activities, company events and performances.



Even at tech companies, often the question of the day is what to have for lunch. Calories and sodium levels of each plate are displayed on the menu so that employees can make healthy and informed decisions about their diet.



The 12 cafeterias at the Giheung and Hwaseong campuses run 24-7, with up to 20 menu selections a day from all corners of the world that would tickle any palette.



A walk after lunch is an excellent way to start the afternoon. More than 600,000m2 of greenspace is managed in Giheung and Hwaseong campuses combined, an area equivalent to more than 75 soccer fields.



A coffee break under a tree is just as refreshing. More than 60,000 trees in Giheung and Hwaseong campuses include numerous species such as pine, oak, ginkgo and elm, which provide the perfect shade to cool off.



Employees can also look after their health by working out at one of the several gyms across campus that are equipped for weights, treadmill, swimming, pilates, squash and climbing. About 4,000 employees per day use the gyms regularly.



Personal trainers are also available on site to help you work out the muscles you didn’t know you had.



In case of the unfortunate event of feeling under the weather, employees can drop by the healthcare center on site for primary care from physicians, dentists, dermatologists, acupuncturists, pharmacists and counselors on staff. Physical therapy, musculoskeletal treatment and regular health checkup services are also available.

[Photo Essay] An Intimate Look into Samsung’s Semiconductor Operations (Part 1)

Inside today’s digital devices that are becoming ever sleeker, smaller, smarter and more powerful, advanced semiconductors are the key building blocks to this digital innovation.


Samsung Electronics has been a major player in the semiconductor industry since the early ‘80s and has strived to deliver advanced technologies that bring meaningful changes to our everyday lives.


In this two-part series, we will take a closer look at our semiconductor operations in Giheung and Hwaseong in Korea, where most of its state-of-the-art semiconductors are developed and made.



Samsung’ Semiconductor Business has recently seen unprecedented success, largely owing to surging demand in advanced memory products for both consumer and enterprise, as well as a diversified IT landscape with critical drivers such as IoT, automobiles and AI.



The shift towards these data-intensive and hyper-connected platforms has spurred expanded investments in data centers, enterprise servers, network systems and HPC (high-performance computing) that require the highest level of performance and energy efficiency in large capacities. Samsung’s high-capacity memory solutions such as DRAM, V-NAND SSDs and HBM2 (high bandwidth memory) address this growing trend while mobile memory solutions with fast and efficient V-NAND technology continue to power today’s smart mobile devices.



Along with Samsung’s memory chips, CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) image sensors are also among the S.LSI business’ flagship products for Samsung. Its proprietary ISOCELL® technology separates each pixel with a physical barrier that hugely boosts image quality and enables smaller pixels. Consumer demand for DSLR-quality pictures and dual-lens cameras are spurring growth in the high-performance image sensor market. In addition to image sensors, display driver ICs (DDI), mobile processors and connectivity solutions also add to the business’ comprehensive product portfolio.



Our legacy all began with this—the 64Kb DRAM. About a decade later since its establishment in 1974, Samsung’s semiconductor business made its first mark in the industry with the chip. Its development narrowed the technology gap with industry forerunners from ten years to four. In 1992, Samsung became the top DRAM manufacturer with the development of the 64Mb DRAM and rose as the top memory manufacturer the year after.



Before there were smartphones, we flipped through phone books to look up a contact. Just when Samsung’s very first semiconductor was being developed, these company phone books from 1983 and 1984 “stored” valuable information that connected our organization. Just like the smartphones today, these fit comfortably in the pockets.



At the heart of the Giheung Campus is the Administration Building (left), Line 1 (right) and Line 2 peeking through in between, where Samsung’s semiconductor history began in the mid-‘70s. The Admin building and Line 2 stand as they did more than 30 years ago while Line 1 was rebuilt for upgrades.



In front of the Administration building stands the Muhantamgusang (Statue of Infinite Study) since Day 1 of Samsung’s semiconductor business. The statue symbolizes founder Byung-chul Lee’s vision and mission for the business, and the spirit of continuous curiosity, research and study is at the core of Samsung’s operations. The bronze statue was commissioned to sculptor Se-Jung Kim, who is famous for his statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin in Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Plaza.



The most recent addition to Samsung’s production lines in Korea is Line 17 in the Hwaseong Campus adjacent to Giheung. Since its opening in 2016, the line has been manufacturing logic chips for foundry customers along with DRAM. The Foundry Business has successfully been producing the industry’s first 10-nanometer (nm) mobile processor since earlier this year and is diversifying its product lineup to IoT, automobiles, home appliances and PCs.



One of the advantages of Samsung’s semiconductor manufacturing sites is that they are in clusters, which allows not only quick decision-making and real-time management around the clock but also tool sharing between manufacturing lines that maximize the efficiency of its resources. The bridge between fabrication lines shown above is an example of this kind of flexibility.



Approximately 23 percent of the industrial water used for Samsung’s semiconductor operations is recycled at wastewater treatment facilities as shown above. Internal pollutant discharge standards are set 30 percent lower than the law requires, and discharged water temperatures are strictly controlled to minimize the impact on the ecosystem and redirect the heat for energy reuse.



Semiconductor fabrication uses a variety of chemicals in large amounts which demand strict and safe management of these materials. Samsung’s Central Chemical Supply System (CCSS) is where chemicals used in manufacturing are stored and supplied to their destination. Supply systems are enclosed within chambers equipped with local ventilation as a safety precaution.



All piping and joints at the CCSS are doubled and sealed in case of any leakage.



The CCSS are monitored 24-7 in real time for chemical input/output as well as any abnormalities such as shortage, leakage or spill.



Semiconductor technologies are moving ahead at light speed, but that doesn’t mean that we are exempt from the responsibility to ensure that the technologies and materials we use are safe. Before a new chemical substance is introduced, it is analyzed for physical and chemical characteristics, potential health hazards and any associated risks. We also established the Samsung Health Research Institute, a research organization to safeguard healthy working environments, improve employees’ well-being and raise the standard for assessing workplace health and safety.



Semiconductors have been a major precursor to the growth of the IT industry and will continue to inspire innovation in the digital devices of tomorrow. To sustain its edge in the IT landscape, Samsung opened the Device Solutions Research (DSR) center in 2014 to spur collaboration and collective synergy among its semiconductor research and development teams working on numerous projects. The complex is comprised of three 27-story towers and is currently home to more than 10,000 employees.



It is no secret that innovation cannot be done alone. The Samsung-SAP Research Center (SSRC) within DSR is an example of Samsung’s collaborative efforts and open partnerships with a wide spectrum of industry innovators. Shown above is one of SSRC’s test servers, SAP HANA (High-performance Analytic Appliance), for in-memory platform development. With 24TB of memory based on 128GB TSV and NVMe SSDs, as well as hardware/software optimization support, this database server solution has the muscles to test next-generation systems especially for banking, enterprise and national defense.



As we move forward to the fourth industrial wave, Samsung’s semiconductor business continues to push boundaries and looks ahead for the next technological leap that will fundamentally change our way of life and enrich our everyday experiences.

Samsung Expands FD-SOI Process Technology Leadership and its Design Ecosystem Readiness

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced it has expanded its differentiated FD-SOI process technology leadership by offering derivatives that include RF and eMRAM. Samsung already established a full set of FD-SOI design enablement solutions with key ecosystem partners for the 28-nanometer (nm) FD-SOI (28FDS) process technology. By accomplishing industry first eMRAM testchip tape-out milestone on 28FDS process technology, Samsung Foundry has demonstrated its 28FDS readiness with eMRAM technology leadership with the long commitment and expertise of Samsung’s semiconductor technology R&D capability.


“Samsung started mass production of its 28FDS process technology last year and reached the desired process maturity earlier than originally scheduled,” said Ryan Lee, Vice President of Foundry Marketing at Samsung Electronics. “So far we have taped out more than 40 products based on the FD-SOI process for various customers. With the addition of RF and eMRAM on 28FDS and 18FDS technologies, we expect an increasing number of product engagements.”


Samsung eMRAM is the newest addition to the family of embedded non-volatile memories and it offers unprecedented speed, power and endurance advantages.


“By adding only three layers in the back-end of the process, we can simply integrate the new eMRAM cells into the existing baseline FD-SOI process,” said Gitae Jeong, Senior Vice President of the Advanced Technology Development Team at Samsung Electronics. “Combined with Samsung’s memory technology leadership and its differentiated FD-SOI technology, we finally succeeded in incorporating eMRAM into various commercial applications”


“Samsung is working with NXP on a test chip to deliver eMRAM macro capability which is optimized for embedded processor integration and manufacturing.” said Ron Martino, VP and GM for NXP’s iMX Applications Processor product line. “This test chip is complete and will produce results in the 4th quarter. This work will further enable the vision of integrating diverse SOC components on a single SOC in a cost effective manner.”


Samsung has completed its full set of 28FDS technology eco-system solutions with various eco- system partners including Cadence and Synopsys. Customers can access Samsung certified 28FDS reference flows from Cadence and Synopsys along with application-specific IP offerings.


“Through our collaboration with Samsung, our mutual customers can access the 28FDS certified, comprehensive Cadence RTL-to-GDS reference flow,” said KT Moore, vice president, product management in the Digital & Signoff Group at Cadence. “The Cadence tools integrate the back-biasing and multi-bit flip-flop design optimization features included with the Samsung 28FDS process technology, enabling designers to quickly and easily develop high-quality SoCs with optimal power and performance.”


“Early joint collaboration on PDKs, reference flows and IP is a hallmark of the Samsung/Synopsys relationship,” said Michael Jackson, corporate vice president of marketing and business development for the Design Group at Synopsys. “For Samsung’s 28FDS, our mutual customers can design with confidence, knowing that it has been fully certified for Synopsys’ Design Platform and Design Ware® IP.


Details on the recent updates to Samsung Foundry’s cutting-edge process technology including FD-SOI technology roadmap and readiness will be presented at the Shanghai FD-SOI Forum on September 26th, 2017, by ES Jung, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Foundry Business at Samsung Electronics.

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