Once we get lower than 1nm, we might start using picometers to measure fabrication process. It gets smaller and smaller each time technology progresses
TSMC has released a roadmap for their plans for mobile chipset manufacturing. The company is well-known as the largest fabrication for processors and chipsets. Major semiconductor companies like Intel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Mediatek are all regular customers of TSMC, short for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.
The roadmap includes not only 3nm mobile chipsets, but also 2nm ones which are stated to be released by 2025. This makes these chipsets very efficient and therefore, less straining on the battery. The company showcased this innovation at the North American Technology Symposium.
Based on the roadmap, the 3nm node has five tiers, colloquially named “N3”. The one we’re getting in 2023 is called “N3E”. The “E” stands for Enhanced. There is also N3P (N3 Performance Enhanced), and finally, the N3X, which stands for Extreme Density Enhanced. These will be manufactured on what TSMC calls FINFLEX process.
This process has three configurations: 3-2 FIN, 2-2 FIN, and 2-1 FIN. The first one, 3-2 FIN, focuses on the fastest clock speeds and heaviest of demands therefore it is highly suitable for flagship and gaming phones. 2-2 FIN focuses on a balanced set of performance and efficiency that fits well among camera phones and higher-end midrangers. Finally, 2-1 FIN focuses on high power efficiency while also having the highest density.
Finally, at the top of the map is N2 which means a 2nm chipset for mobile phones is also on its way. The 2nm node, in comparison to the 3nm node, will have 10-15% better performance at the same level of efficiency. At the same time, the 2nm node consumes 25-30% less power at the same frequency and transistor count.
In addition to this roadmap, the company also showcased its latest 3DFabric Silicon Stacking Solutions. It is the first-ever SoIC-based CPU employing Chip-on-Wafer (CoW) and Wafer-on-Wafer (WoW) technology. This 3DFabric solution will start production by the latter half of 2022.
With vapour cooling technology now mainstream, phones, especially gaming phones, will now become more efficient and heat less and less, a great way to preserve the shelf life of a phone’s battery.