At processor producers, basic and utilized analysis and improvement work by no means stops, so now that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has outlined a timeline for its N2 (2 nm-class) fabrication course of that can enter high-volume manufacturing (HVM) in 2025, it’s time for the corporate to begin desirous about a succeeding node. If a brand new rumor is to be believed, TSMC is ready to formally announce its 1.4 nm-class expertise in June.
TSMC plans to reassign the group that developed its N3 (3 nm-class) node to improvement of its 1.4 nm-class fabrication course of in June, studies Enterprise Korea. Usually, foundries and chip designers by no means formally announce R&D milestones, so we’re unlikely going to see a TSMC press launch saying that improvement of its 1.4 nm expertise had been began. In the meantime, TSMC is ready to host its Know-how Symposium in mid-June and there the corporate could define some transient particulars concerning the node that can succeed its N2 manufacturing course of.
Normal course of expertise design stream consists of pathfinding, analysis and improvement phases. Pathfinding includes issues like basic exploration of supplies and physics and in lots of instances, it’s carried out concurrently for quite a few nodes. By now, pathfinding for TSMC’s N2 has in all probability been concluded, so acceptable groups specializing in basic physics and chemistry are engaged on a successors for N2, which might be referred to as 1.4 nm, or 14 angstroms.
TSMC’s N2 depends on gate-all-around field-effect transistors (GAAFETs), however will use current excessive ultraviolet (EUV) lithography with a 0.33 numerical aperture (0.33 NA). Given the main points about TSMC’s N2 that we all know immediately, it’s doable that its successor will retain GAA transistors, however what actually stays to be seen is whether or not it will transfer to EUV instruments with a 0.55 NA (or Excessive NA).
Conserving in thoughts that TSMC’s N2 enters HVM in late 2025 (so anticipate the primary 2 nm chips from the corporate to be delivered round 2026) and TSMC’s two-and-a-half to three-year node introduction cadence, we will probably anticipate TSMC’s 1.4 nm (or 14 angstroms) course of for use for business merchandise beginning in 2028. Given the timeframe, it will likely be useful for the node to make use of Excessive NA lithography, which Intel plans to begin utilizing in 2025.
Talking of Intel, it stays to be seen which of Intel’s node is ready to compete towards TSMC’s 1.4 nm. Intel is ready to introduce its 18A (18 angstroms) expertise in 2025, so by 2028 the corporate will roll out a minimum of one new fabrication course of. Whether or not it will likely be referred to as 16A (since Intel appears to be cautious with node developments as of late) or 14A might be attention-grabbing to see.