During its quarterly earnings call, TSMC gave an update on future process node technologies. As expected, it mentioned what advancements it has made in current and future process nodes. Besides the N7 and N5 nodes, TSMC also mentioned its N3 node and the enhanced version, the N3E.
According to the TSMC’s Q3 2021 earnings call transcript (via Tom’sHardware), besides the N3 node, the semiconductor company will also launch an enhanced 3nm process node called N3E. Compared to the standard N3 node, the enhanced N3 node will offer better yields, more performance, and lower power consumption.
The N3 node’s risk production is scheduled for later this year and mass production for H2 2022. However, because of the long production cycles coming with smaller nodes (the N3 node has a 100-day cycle), the first customers may start receiving orders in Q1 2023.
The N3E node will keep using FinFet transistors like the N3 node, but it will still come with some worthy improvements. One such improvement is the process window, a graph with a range of parameters for a specific manufacturing process that yields a defined result, which can be configured to adjust performance and other factors. This node is expected to arrive a year after N3, so early 2024 seems like a good estimation.
KitGuru says: TSMC is continuing to make advancements in process node technology, with the first 3nm chips looking set to debut in 2023.