They developed the new NX4 process specifically for High Performance Computing products
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has released a new semiconductor manufacturing technology that is part of its N5 process technology family which features transistors as small as 5-nanometers (nm) for some of their dimensions.
The N4X process, which TSMC announced this week, will cater only to high performance computing (HPC) products, the company says. “N4X is the first of TSMC’s HPC-focused technology offerings,” the company said. They added that the NX4 series represents “ultimate performance and maximum clock frequencies in the 5-nanometer family.”
The “X” designation is for TSMC technologies that are specifically for HPC products, they added. The financial sector expects HPC products to play an important role in TSMC’s future revenue growth.
Designed for “extreme performance loads”
Leveraging its experience in 5nm volume production, TSMC further enhanced its technology with features ideal for high performance computing products to create N4X. These features include device design and structures optimized for high drive current and maximum frequency. They also include back-end metal stack optimization for high-performance designs, and super high density metal-insulator-metal capacitors. These help deliver “robust power delivery under extreme performance loads,” TMSC claims.
These HPC features will enable N4X to offer a performance boost of up to 15% over N5, or up to 4% over the even faster N4P at 1.2 volt. N4X can achieve drive voltages beyond 1.2 volt and deliver additional performance. Customers can also draw on the common design rules of the N5 process to accelerate the development of their N4X products. TSMC expects N4X to enter risk production by the first half of 2023.
“HPC is now TSMC’s fastest-growing business segment and we are proud to introduce N4X, the first in the ‘X’ lineage of our extreme performance semiconductor technologies,” said Dr. Kevin Zhang, senior vice president of Business Development at TSMC.
“The demands of the HPC segment are unrelenting, and TSMC has not only tailored our ‘X’ semiconductor technologies to unleash ultimate performance but has also combined it with our 3DFabric™ advanced packaging technologies to offer the best HPC platform.”