At its annual Technology Symposium, TSMC shared plenty of new details regarding its upcoming process technologies, which include N5 (5 nm) and N3 (3 nm). While AMD’s 5 nm desktop processors are at least a year away, the semiconductor manufacturing giant is already promising that its successor, 3 nm, will improve performance and power efficiency by up to 15 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
“Compared to it’s N5 node, N3 promises to improve performance by 10-15% at the same power levels, or reduce power by 25-30% at the same transistor speeds,” wrote AnandTech. “Furthermore, TSMC promises a logic area density improvement of 1.7x, meaning that we’ll see a 0.58x scaling factor between N5 and N3 logic. This aggressive shrink doesn’t directly translate to all structures, as SRAM density is disclosed at only getting a 20% improvement which would mean a 0.8x scaling factor, and analog structures scaling even worse at 1.1x the density.”
TSMC’s N3 process will enter volume production in 2022. It’s unclear when we’ll be getting our first 3 nm processors, however – AMD’s latest roadmap ends with 5 nm Zen 4, which is expected to debut before the end of 2022.