TSMC Reportedly Plans Volume Production for 4nm Process This Year
DigiTimes today reported that TSMC is set to begin volume production for its 4nm process in the fourth quarter of 2021, rather than early 2022 as originally planned. The report also indicated that Apple has contracted initial production using this node for use in future versions of the custom silicon found in some of its Mac products.
N5 doesn't necessarily refer to a single process—it actually covers the N5, N5P, and N4 processes. The first two are 5nm processes and the last is the upcoming 4nm process. It gets bundled with its predecessors because it's expected to have a smaller impact than the 3nm process (N3) expected to debut in late 2022.
It seems the increased capital expenditure for 2021 is pushing N4 along faster than TSMC expected. The company said in August 2020 that its 4nm process was supposed to enter risk production in 4Q21 and volume production in 2022. According to DigiTimes sources, however, volume production should begin this year.
DigiTimes reported that TSMC will begin production of the N5P-based A15 chip, which is expected to debut in the iPhone 13 later this year, sometime in May. An upgraded version of that SoC will likely be added to future iPad models later, but Apple is said to be jumping straight to N4 for the next SoC designed for Mac.
This accelerated timeline could allow Apple to switch every Mac over to its custom silicon earlier than anticipated. The company said in November 2020 that it wanted to have its own SoCs across the Mac lineup by 2022. TSMC's ability to begin volume production of the N4 process should make it that much easier to beat that goal.
N5P parece que irá permitir 10% menor consumo e 5% maiores Clocks, em relação a N5. N4 parece que usará mais EUV.
Também parece que N5, N5P e N4 são compatíveis entre elas.
Começando a produção em massa de 4 nm nos finais deste ano, deve indicar que a Apple terá algo no mercado PC com 4 nm, lá para 2Q 2022 ou Meio de 2022.
Não só aumentará a vantagem que a Apple tem a nível de processos de fabrico, em relação a todas as outras empresas como é possível que a migração para ARM fique completa antes dos 2 anos que colocaram como meta.