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TSMC’s Enhanced 5nm Node Reportedly Being Prepped; Could Be Secured for Lucrative Clients Like Apple and Its A14 Bionic

Jun 9, 2020
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A lot of mobile SoCs getting released in the second half of 2020 will be made using TSMC’s 5nm architecture. Companies like Apple, Huawei, and Qualcomm have tapped the Taiwanese giant for its technology, but it appears that there is also an enhanced 5nm version being prepped too. This isn’t something out of the ordinary to hear because even last year, TSMC was said to have its 7nm N7 Pro architecture secured for Apple’s A13 Bionic, most likely to give it an edge in both performance and efficiency.

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In total, there are said to be three versions of TSMC’s 5nm process. One is the regular version, then comes 5nm+, followed by the enhanced 5nm node. TSMC also confirmed a statement that it’s working on a 4nm N4 process. It is said to be mass produced in 2023 and will be made using the same equipment. The report also states that customers are ready to negotiate, with the 4nm process expected to bring in more options for them down the road.

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As for the enhanced 5nm node, we believe it will be secured for Apple’s upcoming A14 Bionic that will be running in the iPhone 12 lineup. TSMC has been rumored to be the tech giant’s sole supplier of 5nm chips for this year, so it’s no surprise that it would be working on this technology for one of its most valuable clients. However, the differences of the enhanced 5nm technology haven’t been highlighted in the report. While it does report that 5nm+ is around 20 percent faster and consumes around 40 percent less power than the regular 5nm node, the advantages of the enhanced 5nm node haven’t been detailed.

Regardless, a previous report did mention that the A14 Bionic could be as fast as a 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro equipped with an Intel 6-core processor, so that might give you an idea of how capable the enhanced 5nm architecture is, even if it’s pure speculation at this point. In addition to the A14 Bionic, two more SoCs are expected to be announced later in the year and by different companies. One is Huawei, who is said to unveil its Kirin 1020, while the other firm is Qualcomm, who is said to be preparing is 5nm Snapdragon 875.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on which 5nm technology is being used to develop these chipsets, but we’re sure to find out in the coming months, so stay tuned.

News Source: DigiTimes

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