Samsung and TSMC are in some ways in a neck-and-neck race. They’re both using the latest extreme ultraviolet lithography tools in production processes that offer something that’s arguably can be called 7or 6 or 5nm process. And clearly, these capabilities are becoming more complex and costly to deliver, and that’s driving a change in how chip and system makers innovate.
So Samsung’s an impressive chip maker and has deep experience making DRAMs and NAND flash and logic. It falls short as a foundry in that it doesn’t have all the kind of IP blocks and partnerships and services that a TSMC can offer, or a size of a TSMC, which is three times as big a foundry compared to Samsung. And it lacks the blue-chip customer list that TSMC commands, given its status as a leading foundry.