Samsung steps up its timeline to enter the semiconductor glass substrate market

Samsung accelerates its entry into the semiconductor glass substrate market, aiming to outpace Intel.

: Samsung is moving up its timeline to enter the semiconductor glass substrate market by launching a pilot line in the fourth quarter, three months ahead of schedule. This move is seen as an effort to surpass Intel in developing technology that could sustain Moore's Law beyond 2030 by enabling higher transistor scaling and performance. Challenges such as integration and fragility must be overcome, but the glass substrate market is expected to grow significantly.

Samsung is aggressively stepping up its efforts to enter the semiconductor glass substrate market, with plans to launch a pilot production line in Sejong, South Korea, in the fourth quarter of this year, earlier than initially planned. The motivation behind this accelerated timeline is to gain a competitive advantage over Intel, which has been researching glass substrate technology for nearly a decade with intentions to commercialize it by 2030. Samsung's move into the glass substrate market is significant because it is believed that this technology could be key to sustaining Moore's Law beyond 2030 by allowing for the continued scaling of transistors in semiconductor packages without the limitations currently faced with organic substrates.

Intel and other industry players have recognized the potential of glass substrates to address several challenges in semiconductor packaging, such as higher power consumption, shrinkage, and warping associated with organic substrates. Glass offers superior flatness, thermal, and mechanical stability, which could enable a substantial increase in interconnect density, up to ten times that of current substrates. This technological advancement is significant for developing high-density, high-performance chips that can handle data-intensive applications such as artificial intelligence. However, there are various hurdles to overcome, including issues related to integration and the fragility of glass, as well as achieving uniform via fill for consistent electrical performance.

Despite these challenges, the outlook for the glass substrate market is very positive, with forecasts projecting it to reach $2.3 billion this year and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9 percent from 2024 to 2034. Samsung's strategy includes the selection of suppliers like Philoptics, Chemtronics, Joongwoo M-Tech, and LPKF of Germany for providing components for its projects. The aggressive push into the glass substrate space by Samsung highlights the evolving landscape of semiconductor technology, where innovation is crucial for maintaining the pace of progress in the industry.