Foundry TSMC has detailed a new 3nm process technology and its plans for 2nm using nanosheet transistors.
The 3nm Finflex process is set to enter production later this year and has transistor with different number of fins for different applications. There are cells with a 3-2 fin configuration for high 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.
The 2nm N2 process moves away from Finfets to nanosheet transistors. This will give a 10 to 15% speed improvement at the same power, or 25 to 30% power reduction at the same speed. There will also be a high-performance variant in addition to the mobile compute baseline version, as well as chiplet integration technology. N2 is scheduled to start sampling in 2024 with production in 2025.
TSMC is also developing N6e, an ultra low power process for the next evolution in process technology tuned to provide the computing power and energy efficiency required by edge AI and IoT devices. N6e will be based on TSMC’s 7nm process and is expected to have three times greater logic density than the current low power process, N12e.
TSMC has also been showcasing two customer applications of its TSMC-SoIC chip stacking technology. The world’s first SoIC-based CPU uses Chip-on-Wafer (CoW) technology to stack SRAM as a Level 3 cache, while GraphCore’s Bow intelligence processing unit AI chip is stacked on top of a deep trench capacitor die using Wafer-on-Wafer (WoW) technology.
Chips built in the N7 7nm process are already in production for both CoW and WoW, and support for N5 technology is scheduled for 2023 says TSMC. The demand for this stacking technology is growing and TSMC plans to open the world’s first fully automated 3DFabric factory in the second half of 2022.
“We are living in a rapidly changing, supercharged, digital world where demand for computational power and energy efficiency is growing faster than ever before, creating unprecedented opportunities and challenges for the semiconductor industry,” said Dr. C.C. Wei, CEO of TSMC. “The innovations we will showcase at our Technology Symposiums demonstrate TSMC’s technology leadership and our commitment to support our customers through this exciting period of transformation and growth.”
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