CC Wei, CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), confirmed that, as predicted by the roadmap, the first process-based semiconductorsN2 (2 nanometers)are always planned for 2026with the start of production, which should begin in 2025.
TSMC’s top manager did not investigate the technical aspects (performance and consumption), but said that the new production process will exploit transistor based on the new structureGAA (Gate All-Around) and will continue to use ultraviolet lithography SEEN (Extreme Ultraviolet) with a numerical aperture of 0.33.
The new production process is expected to enter the “production at risk“ during 2024 then proceed to mass production in 2025. The first chips should arrive on the market in 2026 given the few months between production and arrival on the market.
“The development of our N2 process is on track, as well as the progress of the new transistor structure, in line with our expectations. We will enter the production phase at risk. from 2024. Volume production will start from 2025, probably around the second half [dell’anno] or, at the latest, towards the end. This is our program,” CC Wei said.
The new transistors will represent a big step forward in the semiconductor industry, as well as the state transition of the architecture 3d planar. GAA transistors will extend the contact area between the channel and the gate, ensuring that the latter is also present in the lower part of the channel, hence the name All-Around Gate. In this way, the new architecture will overcome the physical and performance limits reached by FinFET transistors. Additionally, the transistors can be stacked vertically allowing much higher flexibility from a form factor perspective.
TSMC spoke publicly about the N2 trial for the first time in 2020, explaining that he would be adopted at the new site near Baoshan in Hsinchu County, Taiwan. Construction of the plant began in 2022 and the facility will likely be completed in 2023 with a view to installing the first machines in the second half of 2024.
The Taiwanese company seems to be following a cautious approach in the development of the new process and the associated transistors, so much so thatIntel And Samsung they should anticipate it. In particular, the second, began to talk about the new transistors MBCFET already in 2019 and will be ready for production from this year. Samsung will only use the new transistors for internal projects, likely in very limited volumes, while from 2023 it will also apply them to customer projects. Intelinstead, it should adopt transistorsRibbonFET in the 2024.
TSMC has no intention of rushing the times but ensure you have high reliability and optimal performance with GAA transistors, in order to cover the most disparate needs of its customers. Initially, this type of transistor will see limited use, and TSMC’s production will continue to be more closely tied to FinFETs. In this way, the company will have time to meet the specific needs of realityApple, its biggest customer, but also those of partners like AMD, NVIDIA and Intel itself. It is therefore natural that TSMC’s approach is much more cautious than its competitors who are, on the contrary, more focused on in-house production.