TSMC revealed some key particulars about its upcoming nodes throughout its 2022 North America Technology Symposium, together with its 3-nanometer roadmap and what’s in retailer for its 2-nanometer course of. Beyond the technical particulars, what’s fascinating about all that is seeing TSMC occurring the offensive, so to talk, about it course of expertise.
There’s been fairly a little bit of consideration paid to the chip manufacturing facet of the equation over the previous 12 months or so. Both Intel and TSMC have introduced huge investments in new and upgraded fab websites as demand for semiconductors have skyrocketed. Combined with challenges from the pandemic and different elements, the business at massive has been battling a chip scarcity that is permeated the market at virtually each finish, together with game consoles and key elements in good automobiles.
So in that regard, TSMC seems to be flexing, and with good purpose—it has so much on faucet. In specific, TSMC is prepping a minimum of 5 3nm course of applied sciences (N3, N3E, N3P, N3S, and N3X) over the following three years, all of that are primarily based on a “revolutionary” FinFlex expertise.
TSMC’s FinFlex Technology Enables Better Design Flexibilty
According to TSMC, FinFlex offers it higher design flexibility and makes it simpler for chip designers to nice tune efficiency and energy consumption, balanced with price, all whereas maximizing transistor density. This is very vital because the market as an entire embraces hybrid CPU designs.
“The TSMC FinFlex innovation offers choices of different standard cells with a 3-2 fin configuration for ultra performance, a 2-1 fin configuration for best power efficiency and transistor density, and a 2-2 fin configuration providing a balance between the two for Efficient Performance,” TSMC explains.
Shown within the picture above is an instance of an N3 format where the chip designer can select the perfect Fin configuration for every useful block on a chip. A 3-2 Fin allows the quickest clock frequencies and finest efficiency; a 2-2 Fin association provides a stability between efficiency, energy effectivity, and density; and a 2-1 Fin allows the bottom energy consumption with the bottom leakage and highest density of the bunch.
Note that FinFlex doesn’t exchange personalized nodes and specialised libraries, nevertheless it’s one other approach that chip designers can tune their designs primarily based on their energy, efficiency, and price objectives.
TSMC Looks Ahead To 2 Nanometers (2N) In 2025
Beyond its strong 3N FinFlex roadmap, TSMC additionally talked about its N2 expertise. As proven within the roadmap above, N2 is scheduled to start manufacturing in 2025, across the similar time as its fifth 3N node (N3X). N2 may also be TSMC’s first node to make use of nanosheet-based gate-all-around field-effect transistors, or GAAFETs).
The different technological introduction with N2 is a bottom energy rail. This goes hand-in-hand with GAAFETs to enhance the performance-per-watt proposition.
TSMC claims its N2 expertise will ship a 10-15 p.c pace enchancment on the similar energy versus N3E, or a 25-30 p.c energy discount on the similar pace. This, in keeping with TSMC, will usher in a brand new period of environment friendly efficiency.
“N2 will feature nanosheet transistor architecture to deliver a full-node improvement in performance and power efficiency to enable next-generation product innovations from TSMC customers. The N2 technology platform includes a high-performance variant in addition to the mobile compute baseline version, as well as comprehensive chiplet integration solutions,” TSMC says.
Interestingly, the development in transistor density will within the neighborhood of 10 p.c versus N3E. That’s not earth shattering, and N3S might shut the hole, albeit on a unique course of expertise. That might set the state for some fascinating chip design selections down the road.
If all goes to plan, TSMC will start threat manufacturing of its 2N node in late 2024, with business merchandise anticipated to reach within the second half of 2025.