According to recent News on December 31, TSMC held a 3nm mass production and factory expansion ceremony in Tainan Science Park on December 29, officially announcing the launch of 3nm mass production. Samsung started N3 (3nm) process chip manufacturing a few months ago, but TSMC’s yield rate is significantly better.
According to Business Next, analysts and experts specializing in semiconductors estimate that TSMC’s current N3 yield could be as low as 60% to 70%, or as high as 75% to 80%, which is quite good for the first batch of products. . At the same time, financial analyst Dan Nystedt said on Twitter that TSMC’s current N3 yield rate is similar to the N5 yield rate in the early stages of rising, and its yield rate may be as high as 80%.
In contrast, Samsung Foundry’s 3GAE process yields ranged from 10% to 20% in the early stages and did not improve.
Since TSMC is currently producing a limited number of N3 designs commercially (presumably hardly more than three ICs), and yield-related data is a commercial secret of the foundry and its customers, it is not yet possible to say how high or low TSMC’s N3 yield rate is. How low to make a specific judgment?
Also, given the rumours surrounding the initial N3 node (aka N3B), Apple may be the only company adopting this technology, with other developers expected to use the slightly more stable N3E improved process. We have learned that TSMC will adopt the N3 node process with limited capacity, and then later switch to the more stable and efficient full-scale production of N3E later in 2023, and then switch to N3P in 2024.
Its 2nm GAA process is in trial production and will be in mass production in 2025. TSMC’s official website shows that its 3nm process technology is another full-generation process after 5nm, with the best PPA and transistor technology.
Compared with the 5nm process technology, the logic density of the 3nm process technology will increase by about 70%, the speed will increase by 10-15% at the same power consumption, or the power consumption will be reduced by 25-30% at the same speed.
Using such 3 nm-based chipsets might give the next generation of iPhones and Macs significant thermal headroom along with further improvements to their battery life.
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