18 5 月, 2024

Manufacturing

Processing Machinery

TSMC also squeezes toothpaste?

3 min read

Since the chip entered 5nm in 2020, many people have been at the next node, which is 3nm.

According to the statements of TSMC and Samsung, the 3nm process will be implemented in 2022, but it is still unknown whether it can be truly achieved. For example, Samsung and TSMC do not have many plans in mind.
For example, TSMC stated that the 3nm process is more difficult than expected. At 3nm, each wafer will have approximately 30-35 EUV exposures, and monthly delivery is very low. It is expected that in the early stage, only about 15000 12 inch wafers will be produced per month. Based on a responsible attitude towards users, the specific delivery may be delayed by several months, perhaps until 2023.
TSMC also squeezes toothpaste? We need to create an N4X process again
As for Samsung, although it has always stated that it will deliver on schedule, there is speculation that due to its stated adoption of GAA transistor technology, it may not be possible for Samsung to actually produce and deliver in 2022. Even if it does, the yield and specific performance are still to be observed.
And the delayed delivery of 3nm is also a troublesome matter for TSMC and Samsung, so what should we do? So TSMC also squeezed toothpaste on a 5nm scale and introduced N 5nm processes, each with a slight improvement.
TSMC also squeezes toothpaste? We need to create an N4X process again
At the beginning, it was the process of the N5, which is the Kirin 9000 and A14. Later, the N5P process was introduced, which was said to be an enhanced version of the 5nm process. Compared to the N5, the improvement was not significant.
Later on, it was thought that the name N5 made people think it was still 5nm, so it was renamed N4, which made people think it was 4nm. However, in fact, N4 is also a 5nm process, but the transistor density has been slightly increased.
And N4 already has two versions of processes, namely N4 and N4P. N4X may be familiar to everyone, and the MediaTek 9000 has been used, while N4P is an enhanced version of N4, with a slightly higher transistor density.
TSMC also squeezes toothpaste? We need to create an N4X process again
You think N4P is over, but you’re mistaken. Recently, TSMC announced that it will launch the N4X process. Don’t think it’s 4nm, but it’s actually a 5nm family process. TSMC stated that N4X will represent the highest performance and maximum frequency possessed by the 5nm family.
TSMC stated that the performance of N4X is 15% higher than that of N5. Compared to the N4P, the performance has also improved by 4% at 1.2V, and the N4X will enter trial production in the first half of 2023, which is almost simultaneously produced with 3nm.
Why is TSMC pushing the N4X? It’s not like squeezing toothpaste. When 3nm first came out, the production capacity was not high, the yield estimate was not high, and the cost was also high. Therefore, promoting more N4 series for customers to choose from is also considered a marketing gimmick.