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TSMC announces plans for 10nm, 16nm tech

Posted: 09 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TSMC? FinFET? fab? SoC? GPU?

"Samsung claimed they were in production now, but we haven't seen anything," Jones said, pointing to the Exynos chip. "If Samsung does produce high volumes at that point they're ahead of TSMC."

Taking it to 10

While TSMC's 16nm technology is due this summer, the company announced a road map for its much-discussed 10nm process. The 10nm process will have 2.1 times the logic density of the 16nm node along with a 20 per cent speed gain and 40 per cent power reduction. The company demonstrated a 256MB SRAM made in the process. TSMC expects its 10nm to be in production by the end of 2016 and alluded to more than 10 partnerships in various stages of design.

"We think 10nm will be the long-lasting technology node and for TSMC to be accelerating 10nm, I think that is a very good sign for the industry," Jones said. "With the acceleration of 10nm, which they might end up going 8nm, TSMC will close the gap with Intel. I think TSMC is on a roll."

TSMC has invested between $11.5 billion and $12 billion in its 16nm and 10nm technology, which means they have to have customers in place, Jones noted. Strengthening its commitment to 10nm, the company will break ground on a new fab with 10nm tools in 2Q16 and will move 10nm tools into an existing fab this quarter.

Intel will be TSMC's major competitor in this space, with plans to ramp production of 10nm in the next 12-18 months. The issue may not be TSMC's timing with Intel, but Intel's strength of design and its manufacturing problems.

"It's not completely clear who is ahead at 16/14 but I think TSMC is making a major commitment to trying to be ahead at 10," Jones said. "If that happens and TSMC has closed the gap with Intel, the issue is then if TSMC's 10 and Intel's 10 are the same."

- Jessica Lipsky
??EE Times

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