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Schedule a 5nm process?Who can come out on top of Huawei and Apple?

Recently, news broke out in the industry chain that TSMC’s latest 5nm process is ready and will be officially mass-produced in 2020, hopefully creating another milestone in semiconductor technology.

This news seems to have been confirmed. At the 33rd anniversary celebration of TSMC held recently, Chairman and Co-CEO Liu Deyin mentioned the news about the 5nm process. He said that the Fab 12 in Hsinchu and the Fab 18 in Tainan are progressing smoothly, and customers are very satisfied. Mass production will begin in 2020. .

If TSMC’s 5nm process can really achieve mass production next year, it will undoubtedly be a great boon for the mobile market.

Why is the 5nm process more difficult than the 7nm process?

At present, the three mainstream mobile chips on the market, HiSilicon Kirin 990, Apple A13 and Snapdragon 865, all use the 7nm process, and the 5nm process has a greater improvement than the current 7nm process.

As we all know, a chip is composed of a huge number of transistors, and the process process represents the size of the Transistor. The more advanced the process process, the smaller the transistor. This leads to two results:

1. When the chip area remains unchanged, the more advanced the process and the smaller the transistors, the more transistors are accommodated in the chip, and the stronger the performance of the entire chip;

2. If the number of transistors remains the same, but under the influence of advanced technology, the number of transistors will become smaller, and the area of ​​the chip will be reduced, thereby reducing chip power consumption and cost.

Therefore, low cost and high performance have always been the goals pursued by major chip manufacturers, but to make nanoscale transistors smaller, it will cost a lot of money, and even show a geometric multiple of investment growth. Many chip manufacturers are in This failure, such as GF and UMC, has announced the termination of the 7nm process research and development, which shows that the chip process will become more difficult as it goes on.

According to TSMC, its 5nm process will fully use EUV lithography technology. Compared with the 4-layer EUV mask of the 7nm process, the 5nm E process will increase the EUV mask to 14-15 layers, making more full use of EUV lithography technology. In addition, the new 5nm chip will reduce power consumption by 30%, increase the speed by 15%, the frequency will reach 3GHz, and the number of transistors will be 1.8 times that of the 7nm process.

Who can come out on top between Huawei and Apple?

At present, TSMC’s 5nm process has been eyed by two major smartphone manufacturers, Huawei and Apple.

It is reported that Apple’s new A14 chip for the 2020 iPhone 12 series will use TSMC’s 5nm process. Currently, TSMC has sampled its Apple A14 chip, and Apple may have received some test samples.

For Huawei, the Kirin 990 chip currently uses TSMC’s 7nm process. If nothing else, Huawei will use the 5nm process on the next-generation flagship chip Kirin 1000. If the news is true, according to the current number of 10.3 billion transistors in the Kirin 990 5G version, the Kirin 1000 is equipped with more than 18.5 billion transistors, which is quite exaggerated data, and it is very likely to become the top of the next generation of mobile chips.

In Contrast, with the increase in advanced process orders, Huawei has gradually become TSMC’s number one customer, and may have more opportunities than Apple to take the lead in adopting TSMC’s 5nm process.

Recently, news broke out in the industry chain that TSMC’s latest 5nm process is ready and will be officially mass-produced in 2020, hopefully creating another milestone in semiconductor technology.

This news seems to have been confirmed. At the 33rd anniversary celebration of TSMC held recently, Chairman and Co-CEO Liu Deyin mentioned the news about the 5nm process. He said that the Fab 12 in Hsinchu and the Fab 18 in Tainan are progressing smoothly, and customers are very satisfied. Mass production will begin in 2020. .

If TSMC’s 5nm process can really achieve mass production next year, it will undoubtedly be a great boon for the mobile market.

Why is the 5nm process more difficult than the 7nm process?

At present, the three mainstream mobile chips on the market, HiSilicon Kirin 990, Apple A13 and Snapdragon 865, all use the 7nm process, and the 5nm process has a greater improvement than the current 7nm process.

As we all know, a chip is composed of a huge number of transistors, and the process process represents the size of the transistor. The more advanced the process process, the smaller the transistor. This leads to two results:

1. When the chip area remains unchanged, the more advanced the process and the smaller the transistors, the more transistors are accommodated in the chip, and the stronger the performance of the entire chip;

2. If the number of transistors remains the same, but under the influence of advanced technology, the number of transistors will become smaller, and the area of ​​the chip will be reduced, thereby reducing chip power consumption and cost.

Therefore, low cost and high performance have always been the goals pursued by major chip manufacturers, but to make nanoscale transistors smaller, it will cost a lot of money, and even show a geometric multiple of investment growth. Many chip manufacturers are in This failure, such as GF and UMC, has announced the termination of the 7nm process research and development, which shows that the chip process will become more difficult as it goes on.

According to TSMC, its 5nm process will fully use EUV lithography technology. Compared with the 4-layer EUV mask of the 7nm process, the 5nm E process will increase the EUV mask to 14-15 layers, making more full use of EUV lithography technology. In addition, the new 5nm chip will reduce power consumption by 30%, increase the speed by 15%, the frequency will reach 3GHz, and the number of transistors will be 1.8 times that of the 7nm process.

Who can come out on top between Huawei and Apple?

At present, TSMC’s 5nm process has been eyed by two major smartphone manufacturers, Huawei and Apple.

It is reported that Apple’s new A14 chip for the 2020 iPhone 12 series will use TSMC’s 5nm process. Currently, TSMC has sampled its Apple A14 chip, and Apple may have received some test samples.

For Huawei, the Kirin 990 chip currently uses TSMC’s 7nm process. If nothing else, Huawei will use the 5nm process on the next-generation flagship chip Kirin 1000. If the news is true, according to the current number of 10.3 billion transistors in the Kirin 990 5G version, the Kirin 1000 is equipped with more than 18.5 billion transistors, which is quite exaggerated data, and it is very likely to become the top of the next generation of mobile chips.

In contrast, with the increase in advanced process orders, Huawei has gradually become TSMC’s number one customer, and may have more opportunities than Apple to take the lead in adopting TSMC’s 5nm process.

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