TSMC promises performance and power efficiency gains with its new 5nm ‘N4P’ process

Why it matters: This week TSMC announced another five-nanometer process, N4P. The company claims N4P will offer a number of improvements over its previous 5nm nodes in terms of both performance and power efficiency. We may start seeing the first N4P products in the second half of 2022.

On Tuesday, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced its N4P process. The 5nm enhancement should provide more choices for customers alongside its N5, N4, and N3 processes.

The silicon manufacturer is positioning N4P as a refinement of N5 and N4. TSMC claims N4P will have an 11 percent performance increase over N5 and a six percent increase over N4. The process should be 22 percent more power-efficient than N5 and have a six percent higher transistor density. It also says N4P will cut wafer cycle time and decrease process complexity by lowering the number of masks.

TSMC Senior Vice President of Business Development Kevin Zhang said N4P would offer a “further enhanced advanced technology platform” for mobile and HPC.

Over the summer, TSMC announced it would start risk production on 4nm chips in the third quarter of 2021—earlier than initially expected. It also said that its 3nm N3 node would begin mass production in the second half of next year.

TSMC is also planning to construct a 2nm fab early next year, with another one coming sometime later. The company hopes to begin manufacturing 2nm chips by 2024.

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