TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is the world’s biggest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry. To obtain an idea of its expanse, TSMC is the one that is commissioned to manufacture 3 of the suitable mobile chipsets of 2019 which include Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Apple A13 Bionic and Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 990. Although all three of these chipsets are manufactured using a 7 nm process, according to past information, the independent foundry has presently completed risk productions with 5 nm process.
To put it smoothly, lower the process number, the higher the number of transistors inside a chip. Correspondingly, the extra transistors under a CPU, the extra strong and energy-efficient it is. For example, the Kirin 990 that features 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 those areas would double every additional year and because 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 end of Moore’s law. Transistors compact than 7 nm were previously alleged to face an obstacle known as quantum tunnelling through the gate oxide layer, however, this does not seem to be the case. Not only has TSMC successfully completed risk handiwork of 5 nm chips, but it is so-called to have started working on fabrication facilities that can churn out 3 nm chips and will be ready by 2023.
The TSMC facility will cover above 74 acres of land in southern Taiwan’s Science and Technology Park what will reportedly incur $19.5 billion to build. In addition to TSMC, Samsung, what is one of the largest microchips manufacturers is moreover gearing to make chips with a 3 nm node. However, 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 as plenty of transistors into a compact space as TSMC’s.
Talking about the existing scenario, Qualcomm’s up coming CPU, the Sd 865 which is expected to first public appearance in the following months will be made using 7 nm process. Whereas its successor, the Sd 875 and Apple’s A14, both of what will launch next year will be made using 5 nm process.