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TSMC to begin 10nm production this year, has plans for 5nm by 2020

By Koh Wanzi - on 21 Jan 2016, 11:41am

TSMC to begin 10nm production this year, has plans for 5nm by 2020

TSMC fab

TSMC has lost some ground in recent months because of Samsung’s success at the 14nm process node, but it’s looking to regain its position at the cutting edge of fabrication technology with an ambitious roadmap that includes plans to begin 10nm production this year.

This means that it is still on track for mass production of 10nm chips in the first quarter of 2017, putting it ahead of rival Intel, which is only scheduled to begin volume production of 10nm in the second half of next year. In fact, TechEye has already reported that the company has taped out hardware on 10nm, and intends to deploy at a high market share and hold that share.

TSMC has also set its sights beyond 10nm, with the goal of commencing 7nm volume production by 2018 and 5nm production by 2020. The company said that its 7nm technology development would be able to leverage quite effectively its 10nm development, which might explain the relatively short time window between the two.

This announcement is more interesting by way of what it means for Intel. The chipmaker had previously declared that it wanted to pursue strategies focused on Atom and other mobile products, but its core PC and mobile divisions were markedly missing from the three core pillars (data centers, the Internet of Things, and memory) for future growth that CEO Brian Krzanich set out last week.

And combined with the delay of Intel’s 10nm chips to the second half of 2017, it may be that the real battle for supremacy in the foundry space will come down to between Samsung/ Global Foundries and TSMC. Even if Intel's 10nm process does turn out to be superior, it will still be competing on the same node, and it will have lost the advantage of newer nodes that it has held in the past.

Source: ExtremeTech

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