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Samsung Completes Development of "5nm" Node; TSMC Reveals "6nm" Node

Accepted submission by takyon at 2019-04-19 03:36:32
Hardware

Samsung Completes Development of 5nm EUV Process Technology [anandtech.com]

Samsung Foundry this week announced that it has completed development of its first-generation 5 nm fabrication process (previously dubbed 5LPE). The manufacturing technology uses extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) and is set to provide significant performance, power, and area advantages when compared to Samsung's 7 nm process (known as 7LPP). Meanwhile, Samsung stresses that IP developed for 7LPP can be also used for chips to be made using 5LPE.

Samsung's 5 nm technology continues to use FinFET transistors, but with a new standard cell architecture as well as a mix of DUV and EUV step-and-scan systems. When compared to 7LPP, Samsung says that their 5LPE fabrication process will enable chip developers to reduce power consumption by 20% or improve performance by 10%. Furthermore, the company promises an increase in logic area efficiency of up to 25%.

One interesting technology that will eventually be on Samsung's roadmap: "gate-all-around" field effect transistors [wikipedia.org].

Meanwhile, TSMC has announced a new node, "6nm" [anandtech.com], which will allow for smaller die sizes than "7nm" with no improvements to performance or power consumption. It is also not better than the TSMC "7nm+" node, which will use extreme ultraviolet lithography:

TSMC this week unveiled its new 6 nm (CLN6FF, N6) manufacturing technology, which is set to deliver a considerably higher transistor density when compared to the company's 7 nm (CLN7FF, N7) fabrication process. An evolution of TSMC's 7nm node, N6 will continue to use the same design rules, making it easier for companies to get started on the new process. The technology will be used for risk production of chips starting Q1 2020.

TSMC states that their N6 fabrication technology offers 18% higher logic density when compared to the company's N7 process (1st Gen 7 nm, DUV-only), yet offers the same performance and power consumption. Furthermore, according to TSMC N6 'leverages new capabilities in extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL)' gained from N7+, but does not disclose how exactly it uses EUV for the particular technology. Meanwhile, N6 uses the same design rules as N7 and enables developers of chips to re-use the same design ecosystem (e.g., tools, etc.), which will enable them to lower development costs. Essentially, N6 allows to shrink die sizes of designs developed using N7 design rules by around 15% while using the familiar IP for additional cost savings.

See table in article.

Previously: Samsung Discusses Foundry Plans Down to "3nm" [soylentnews.org]
TSMC's "5nm" (CLN5FF) Process On-Track for High-Volume Manufacturing in 2020 [soylentnews.org]


Original Submission