As expected, TSMC divides its family of products into three large blocks with some derivations: 7 nm, 5 nm and 3 nm, not forgetting 6 nm and 4 nm respectively. For this reason, the company makes incidents in the intermediate nodes, which curiously will take center stage while waiting for the largest performance jumps that their smaller brothers have.
The 7 nm begin to be history, the 6 nm and 5 nm arrive to unseat them
According to the Taiwanese, TSMC has currently sold more than one billion 7nm chips, but this upward trend although it will continue to add up, is slowing down due to the arrival of a new successor.
And it is that only in 2021 will the capacity be expanded to 14% more production for these 7 nm, which indicates that the main customers are already moving to 5 nm. But in the meantime, the 6 nm node is gaining strength and if the rumors are finally true, it may play a totally relevant role in the remainder of the year.
Although the biggest efforts are focused on 5nm with Apple leading the way as the main consumer, the reality is that the one that is displacing the current 7nm is precisely 6nm. By the end of the year it will represent almost 50% of the production volume if we compare it with 7 nm, when currently it will be around 25-26% approximately.
This new node is an advanced variant of the 7 nm with more EUV layers and it is rumored that Intel will use it in its new Xe HPG gaming GPUs, where in addition Mediatek and Qualcomm have already announced ARM products with these 6 nm.
The 5 nm and 4 nm will be the final liftoff of TSMC
The figures that the company manages are dizzying, since it will foreseeably end up with twice the number of wafers manufactured than 2020. This in itself is a gigantic increase and shows how the demand in the sector is, but if we look to the nearest future, to 2023 , TSMC plans to quadruple this production compared to last year.
This thanks to new factories like the ones in Arizona, where the company will introduce 20,000 more wafers a month to the market, really amazing. If we look at technologies like EUV, currently TSMC has the fifty% of the world’s facility bases and the 65% of the wafers shipped with this technology, figures that it will foreseeably maintain between now and 2023, if not they will increase.
Finally we have node N4, that is, 4 nm, which will improve the density of N5 by 6% thanks to the optical contractions of the new ASML scanners, where in addition the performance of this new node will be much better from the start than the one of the 5 nanometers and customers are expected to move from the N5 to the N4 as they are moving from the N7 to the N6.
Undoubtedly, the future looks bright for TSMC, but now with Intel stepping on the accelerator and with ASML with increased production of scanners we will have to see if the forecasts are fulfilled, where Samsung is also lurking.