TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is the world’s biggest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry. To get an idea of its expanse, TSMC is the one that is commissioned to manufacture three of the suitable mobile chipsets of 2019 which include Qualcomm Sd 855, Apple A13 Bionic and Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 990. While all 3 of these chipsets are produced using a 7 nm process, according to past news, the independent foundry has presently completed risk productions with 5 nm process.
To put it easily, lower the process number, the higher the number of transistors under a CPU. Correspondingly, the extra transistors inside a chip, the more powerful and energy-efficient it is. For example, the Kirin 990 that options an embedded 5G modem sports an astounding 10.3 billion transistors.
This process number “nm” what is short for nanometers has been shrinking for decades. Back in the 1960s, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore observed that the number of transistors inside chips doubled every year. However, in the following decade, it was observed that the number of transistors under individuals sections would double every another year and since then it has been referred to as “Moore’s law”.
Some experts in the past have assumed that the 5 nm node will be the close of Moore’s law. Transistors smaller than 7 nm were previously rumoured to face an obstacle known as quantum tunnelling through the gate oxide layer, but, this does not seem to be the case. Not only has TSMC successfully completed risk production of 5 nm chips, but it is reported to have started working on fabrication facilities that could churn out 3 nm chips and will be ready by 2023.
The TSMC facility will cover higher than 74 acres of land in southern Taiwan’s Science and Tech Park what will reportedly incur $19.5 billion to build. In addition to TSMC, Samsung, what is one of the biggest microchips manufacturers is Additionally gearing to deliver chips with a 3 nm node. But, Samsung’s facility will allegedly be operational during 2021-2022 time frame.
Having said that transistor density on Samsung chips won’t be like high as TSMC’s 3 nm process. This means that Samsung made microchips at that node won’t pack like plenty of transistors into a little space as TSMC’s.
Talking about the existing scenario, Qualcomm’s next CPU, the Sd 865 which is expected to debut in the following months will be made using 7 nm process. Even though its successor, the Snapdragon 875 and Apple’s A14, both of what will release upcoming year will be made using 5 nm process.