TSMC Recently Showcased N5, N4, and N3 Technologies Virtually

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TSMC brought its largest annual events online to maintain its connection with customers and ecosystem partners during the global pandemic

TSMC showcased the latest developments in its advanced logic technology, specialty technologies, 3DIC system integration solutions, and comprehensive design enablement ecosystem at the company’s first online Technology Symposium and Open Innovation Platform (OIP®) Ecosystem Forum. The company informed that more than 5,000 people registered for virtual events designed for North America, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and China, held from August 24 to August 26.

“During these difficult times for communities around the world, people are relying on technology to communicate with and to comfort each other. Our customers’ innovations make the world a smarter and more connected place. TSMC is committed to unleashing our customer’s innovations with the most advanced logic technologies, a full portfolio of specialty processes to bridge the physical and digital world, advanced packaging technologies, and a comprehensive set of system integration solutions,” said Dr. C.C. Wei, CEO of TSMC.

N5, N4, and N3

TSMC’s 5-nanometer (nm) N5 technology entered volume production this year. N5, as the company informed, provides a 15 per cent performance gain or a 30 per cent power reduction, and up to 80 per cent logic density gain over the preceding N7 technology. Building on the original N5, TSMC plans to ramp an enhanced N5P version in 2021, offering an additional five per cent speed gain and 10 per cent power improvement.

TSMC also offered a preview of the latest member of the 5nm family – the N4 process. N4 will provide further improvements in performance, power and density to cover a wide range of product needs. In addition to process simplification with reduced mask layers, N4 also offers a straightforward migration path with the ability to leverage the comprehensive 5nm design ecosystem. The N4 process is scheduled to start risk production in fourth quarter of 2021, with volume production in 2022.

Looking ahead to the next generation, TSMC’s N3 process is on track to become the most advanced logic technology in the world featuring up to 15 per cent performance gain, up to 30 per cent power reduction, and a logic density gain up to 70 per cent over N5.

Internet-of-Things

The company also unveiled its N12e process, a technology now in risk production optimized for edge AI applications by providing both powerful computing performance and outstanding power efficiency. N12e brings TSMC’s powerful FinFET transistor technology to edge devices enhanced with ultra-low leakage (ULL) device and SRAM to deliver more than 1.75 times logic density improvement, and approximately 1.5 times performance improvement or less than half of the power consumption of the prior 22ULL generation of technology.

“An enhancement of the 12FFC+ process, N12e is ideal for AI-enabled IoT devices, giving them ample power to perform functions such as understanding natural speech or image classification while improving power efficiency. N12e also cuts the power cord and makes it possible to run powerful AI-enabled IoT devices on batteries,” read company’s official statement.

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