Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturing giant TSMC has announced a new 6-nanometer (N6) process for the manufacture of mobile phone processors. The new 6nm process provides a significant enhancement of its industry-leading 7nm technology and offers customers a highly competitive performance-to-cost advantage as well as fast time-to-market with direct migration from N7-based designs.
The new 6nm technology will leverage the capabilities of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography gained from the N7+ technology. Recall that TSMC recent unveiled its N7+ process which involves the incorporation of EUV on TSMC’s 7nm. The process will be used on Hisilicon Kirin 985 and is said to have entered risk production.
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The new 6nm process delivers 18% higher logic density over the 7nm process despite having design rules that are fully compatible with TSMC’s proven N7 technology. This compatibility allows its comprehensive design ecosystem to be reused. This gives the advantage of a seamless migration path with a fast design cycle time. The engineering resources needed to push this new process out to customers are also very limited, thus it will be a cost-effective upgrade. The cost-effective benefits of the 6nm process, while extending the industry-leading power and performance from the 7nm famil, range from improvement in AI, consumer applications, networking, 5G infrastructure, GPU, and high-performance computing.