Apple to use TSMC's enhanced 5nm technology for the A15 chipset
Reports have it that Apple is working on developing a new generation of A15 series processors and will be using TSMC's enhanced 5nm version (N5P) process for it. Reports also state that production is going to begin by the third quarter of 2021.
As per the GizChina report, TSMC's EUV lithography technology is in mass production and the process covers the 7+ nanometers, 6 nanometers and 5 nanometers. Industry sources said that TSMC 7+ nanometers use upto four EUV mask layers.
Reports have it that TSMC's 6nm process will enter mass production by the end of this year, the fourth quarter and the EUV mask has one more layer than 7+nm. The major manufacturers like Intel, MediaTek, Huida etc will be using the 6nm to produce new-generation products.
TSMC's 5nm is mainly for Apple's mass production, as per reports. However, they will not be the only ones. AMD, Qualcomm, Huida, Maiwell, Intel and Broadcom will still use the 5nm process.
GizChina writes that the number of 5nm EUV masks can go up to 14 layers and thus the Fab 18 factory has built “huge EUV exposure equipment in the first to third phases”. Responding to a strong demand, TSMC will be launching “a 5nm enhanced version of the N5P process next year. Equipment manufacturers expect TSMC's enhanced 5nm process mask layers to increase relative to 5nm,” reports state.
TSMC has recently announced that the 3nm R&D process is “in line with expectations” and compared with the 5nm process, “the logic density of 3nm can be increased by 70%, and power consumption can be increased by 15%” an that the “computing performance can reduce power consumption by 30%”.
The number of EUV mask layers in the 3 nanometer process exceeds 20 for the first time. According to estimates. it could be up to 24 layers, reports have it.