TSMC’s 5nm Chip Improvements Guide the Driving of AI, 5G
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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is moving forward with further enhancements to its advanced 5 nanometer processing technology, including the introduction of its N5A enhancement for automotive application processors designed for AI driver assistance and N6RF for 5G smartphone chips.
TSMC bills the N5A as a way to bring the technology used in supercomputers to vehicles and smartphones. Scheduled for availability in the third quarter of 2022, the new design “delivers the performance, energy efficiency and logical density” of the foundry’s first 5nm N5 process, the company said in a statement.
The new process entered volume production Last year. TSMC said this week that it has seen faster improvements in defect density with its 5nm process than with the previous generation of 7nm.
The improved N5A meets automotive quality and safety standards for packaged integrated circuits (ICs) such as AEC-Q100 Grade 2 stress test, TSMC said. N5A-based integrated circuits are expected to appear in driver assistance applications, digital cockpit systems and other applications.
TSMC on Wednesday announced its roadmap for enhanced and specialized 5nm processing technologies at its 2021 Technology Symposium, which is being held for virtually the second year in a row. The Hsinchu, Taiwan-based semiconductor giant said the N4, the next upgrade to its first-generation 5nm N5 process, is expected to go into production at risk in the third quarter of this year. The next step after N4 is N3, which is currently in testing and scheduled for volume production in the second half of 2022. The N3 process is expected to deliver a 15% speed boost or 30% reduction in power consumption. compared to N5 and will also provide up to a 70% logical density gain.
Advanced packaging stacks more memory on chip
In addition to new specialty chip designs, TSMC showcased its advanced 3DFabric chip packaging and stacking technologies, such as InFO_B, which supports DRAM stacking on an integrated mobile processor enclosure for more better performance and better energy efficiency. The company has announced that it will offer InFO_B later this year, along with INFO_oS and CoWoS packaging solutions with integrated broadband memory for high performance computing (HPC).
The pure-play foundry said that these specialized packaging technologies and processes such as N5A and N6RF – a recently announced process that translates the benefits of N6 logic into 5G and WiFi 6 / 6e radio frequency (RF) solutions – are essential for the pursuit of digitization and AI. -improving more parts of our daily life. The company’s expansion plans come despite growing concerns about global chip shortages.
“Digitization is transforming society faster than ever as people use technology to overcome the barriers created by the global pandemic to connect, collaborate and solve problems,” TSMC CEO Dr CC Wei said in a statement. “This digital transformation has opened up a new world full of opportunities for the semiconductor industry. “
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