TSMC 7nm+ Designs Taped Out, 5nm Starts Early 2019

/ 4 years ago

TSMC Announces Wafer-on-Wafer 3D Stacking Technology

TSMC Already Looking to 5nm Node

After holding the lead for quite a while, Intel has largely lost their manufacturing lead. Taking the lead, both Samsung and TSMC have moved along with their 7nm process plans. The first to the punch has been TSMC, with 7nm products already shipping in customer devices. With the 7nm process successful, the company is announcing their plans for the future. The foundry has already taped out 7nm+ designs and is ready to move onto 5nm risk production.

Right now, TSMC is already leading the pack with their 7nm process. The latest process is already being used for the new Apple A12 SoCs. As expected, this lead will carry onto the next generation. The upcoming 7nm+ process is a refinement of the existing process. Due to problems with EUV, the first 7nm process did not utilize the new technology. However, the new update will use EUV for production chips on a limited basis. With designs already taped out, things are going smoothly for TSMC.

7nm+ Node Starts EUV Transition

Due to the refined process, TSMC is expecting about 6-12% reduction in power consumption and 20% increase in density. Along with the updated 7nm+ process, the company is also planning out their 5nm process. This new node will start risk production in early 2019. Depending on how it goes, we may see chips in late 2019 or early 2020. With the increased use of EUV, the new node is even more complex than ever, with higher costs of course.

As one of the few foundries left leading the charge, the success or failure of TSMC will have major ramifications for the industry. Apple is leaning heavily on the Taiwanese firm and both AMD and Nvidia rely solely on them as well. If everything goes well, we will see the company push the limits of silicon. However, the real question that remains is what will happen after 5nm. 3nm seems a bit of a scretch for silicon so we will have to see what we will get later in the 2020’s.


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