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Report: TSMC To Start 3nm Volume Production In 2022

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TSMC continues to keep up the pace with its transition to smaller process nodes. According to JK Wang, the company's senior vice president for fab operations, TSMC is on track to start 5nm commercial production in the second half of 2020, while it’s also expected to start 3nm volume production in 2022.

TSMC expects 5nm orders to ramp up next year as mobile phone vendors try to sell more efficient chips with integrated 5G modems. As 5G modems require more power to deliver the promised 1Gbps and beyond speeds, the chip makers will need all the efficiency gains they can get from moving to a smaller process node.

However, things might not be so rosy for TSMC as Chinese fabless chip companies have started to slow down their orders to TSMC, as their own customers (device makers) have started doing inventory checks for the year. 

The phone vendors would like to ship more 5G devices in 2020, but it looks like some of them are seeing a supply shortage of OLED displays, hindering their ability to ship as many devices as they would’ve liked. This has spill-over effects that affect the Chinese fabless chip makers, which are now expected to see lower revenues for November and December.

Fortunately for TSMC, one of its largest customers, Apple, intends to launch not one but four 5G iPhone models in the second part of 2020, according to recent leaks. Apple will supposedly also use the 5nm process to manufacture its next-gen systems-on-chip, too.

  • srimasis
    Meanwhile Intel is going to release another generation of 14nm CPUs
    Reply
  • bit_user
    It's long been known that TSMC fudges their node size numbers, when they name a manufacturing process. I wonder what Intel would actually consider their 3 nm to be.

    Also, I wonder about the longevity of these chips. According to AMD, 7 nm Ryzens will degrade with use, causing gradual clock speed decline (but only because the microcode is smart enough to measure the degradation & compensate). I wonder if chips made on this 3 nm node will have to be replaced on an annual basis, just from wearing out. ...talk about "planned obsolescence"!
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    bit_user said:

    According to AMD, 7 nm Ryzens will degrade with use, causing gradual clock speed decline

    source ?
    Reply
  • photon123
    bit_user said:
    Also, I wonder about the longevity of these chips. According to AMD, 7 nm Ryzens will degrade with use, causing gradual clock speed decline (but only because the microcode is smart enough to measure the degradation & compensate). I wonder if chips made on this 3 nm node will have to be replaced on an annual basis, just from wearing out. ...talk about "planned obsolescence"!

    All chips degrade with use. This is one of the main reasons chips are rated below their true maximal frequency and can be overclocked. AMD however made a strange choice of clocking their Ryzen 3000 CPUs at their maximal frequency. This seems like the recipe for disaster, as the CPUs will degrade and will no longer support their rated frequency. I really hope AMD has a fail-safe system of reducing clock speed with time and also that they can avoid any lawsuits on this. Otherwise this will not end well for AMD.
    What did they actually announce about this?
    Reply
  • bit_user
    nofanneeded said:
    source ?
    I will try to dig up some references on this, but I don't have time just now.

    photon123 said:
    All chips degrade with use. This is one of the main reasons chips are rated below their true maximal frequency and can be overclocked. AMD however made a strange choice of clocking their Ryzen 3000 CPUs at their maximal frequency. This seems like the recipe for disaster, as the CPUs will degrade and will no longer support their rated frequency.
    I'm not sure we actually know that. Their internal microcode is what's truly managing the CPU's clock frequency. So, just because you can't overclock it any higher, that doesn't mean that the bare silicon couldn't go any faster.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    TSMC 3nm is most likely bigger than Intel 7nm... those marketing names in Computer technology Are getting really stupid. Both Intel and TSMC Are really close to 40-50nm at this moment...
    https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/7_nm_lithography_processIt is like buying TSMC 100hp car vs Intel 70hp car, where Intel actually have more real horse powers... we should really stop looking those marketing nm ratings, the really has been thrown out of Windows Many years ago...
    Reply
  • bit_user
    hannibal said:
    TSMC 3nm is most likely bigger than Intel 7nm... those marketing names in Computer technology Are getting really stupid.
    Just curious: do you have any source on this?

    I would've thought TSMC's 5 nm = Intel's 7 nm.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    nofanneeded said:
    source ?
    Found it. Here's the key bit:

    With electromigration, there are two solutions. One is to set the frequency and voltage of the processor low enough that over the expected age of the CPU it won’t ever become an issue, as it happens at such a slow rate – alternatively set the voltage high enough that it won’t become an issue over the lifetime. The second solution is to monitor the effect of electromigration as the core is used over months and years, then adjust the voltage upwards to compensate. This requires a greater level of detection and management inside the CPU, and is arguably a more difficult problem.

    What AMD does in Ryzen 3000 is the second solution. The first solution results in lower-than-ideal performance, and so the second solution allows AMD to ride the voltage/frequency limits of a given core.

    However, I recommend reading the entire last 4 paragraphs of this page:

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/14873/reaching-for-turbo-aligning-perception-with-amds-frequency-metrics-/3
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    bit_user said:
    Found it. Here's the key bit:



    However, I recommend reading the entire last 4 paragraphs of this page:

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/14873/reaching-for-turbo-aligning-perception-with-amds-frequency-metrics-/3
    There's nothing in there about frequencies declining over time though.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    TJ Hooker said:
    There's nothing in there about frequencies declining over time though.
    Oh, sorry. It doesn't really make sense that they would say that - it would certainly have created quite a lot of commotion, if they had.

    Perhaps I meant to phrase that as a question. Let me try that, again.

    Also, I worry about the longevity of these "3 nm" chips. Reportedly, 7 nm Ryzens will degrade with use, which the chip's microcode is smart enough to measure and compensate for. However, I wonder if we'll eventually start to see gradual clock speed declines on those or future CPUs, with use. I wonder if chips made on this 3 nm node will have to be replaced on an annual basis, just from wearing out. ...talk about "planned obsolescence"!
    Better?
    Reply