Recently, at TSMC’s 26th Technical Symposium, TSMC disclosed its technical route for a period of time in the future. In addition to saying that it will launch an enhanced version of the 5nm process next year, it also disclosed the results of the 3nm and 4nm processes for the first time. According to TSMC’s description, 3nm is a real iterative product of 5nm, while 4nm is an improved and enhanced version of 5nm. 4nm has been determined to be launched early tomorrow, while the 3nm process will undergo risk trial production in the second half of next year. Mass production will not take place until 2022.
How does 3nm and 4nm compare to the current 5nm? The first is the power consumption. With the improvement of the process, the power consumption will be greatly reduced. For example, the 3nm process is expected to reduce the monthly power consumption by 25-30% compared with the current 5nm process, and it will also have 10%-15 % Performance improvement. The improvement of the 4nm process will be smaller, and TSMC has not disclosed the forecast data, but the outside speculation is about 15%, which is good news for the increasingly power-consuming 5G mobile phones.
However, TSMC is not the first manufacturer to disclose its 3nm plan. Another semiconductor giant, Samsung, has announced its 3nm mass production plan earlier, and it is more radical than TSMC. Samsung is expected to officially put the 3nm process into mass production next year, that is, in 2021, the progress is obviously faster than TSMC. Part of the reason is that Samsung abandoned the traditional FinFET process and switched to the new GAA process, hoping to overtake the car by this corner.