Getting an Xbox Series X or a PlayStation 5 is impossible to say the least and few are the lucky ones who have been able to buy one, and let’s not even talk about the lucky ones who have both consoles next to each other. Both SONY and Microsoft cannot cope and one of the bottlenecks is the oversaturated node N7 from TSMC, which is used not only for the manufacture of the console APUs, but also of the entire range of CPUs and APUs for PCs. AMD itself, as well as the RDNA 2 GPUs of all RX 6000.
TSMC overwhelmed, AMD allocates 80% of chips to consoles
Slim models of video game consoles usually take at least a couple of years to come out compared to the original models, they differ from the original models by a lighter design and by the use of components with a more advanced manufacturing node, no However, the TSMC node N6 will allow you to break this rule on both PS5 and Xbox.
While it is true that node N5 will be fully operational soon, the fact that TSMC offers an alternative node for less complex systems is the demonstration that all production gaps are already filled. On the other hand and although we do not believe that it will happen so soon, do not rule out an aesthetic redesign of at least one of the two consoles, yes, not in technical specifications since they would be the same.
More PS5 and Xbox in stock thanks to TSMC’s N6 node
Node N6 or “6 nm” node is an intermediate node between 7 and 5 nm that will be used by several TSMC customers for many of their products that will be launched in 2022. At the moment we have the next AMD APUs with codename Rembrandt and Intel ARC Alchemist gaming graphics cards, but all indications are that PS5 APUs and next-gen Xbox could be added to the equation.
The normal thing would be to wait for the development of the 5 nm node for a Slim version of both consoles, but it must be taken into account that we are not talking about an aesthetic redesign, but a minor revision that will use the TSMC node N6 for the APUs of PS5 and Xbox in order to increase the number of consoles available on the market.
The particularity of node N6 is that it allows to use the designs for node N7, but with very slight changes in the chip infrastructure, in exchange for having a node with an additional density of 18%, which means a greater number of chips per wafer as these are smaller. There are also improvements in efficiency and energy consumption, so it is more than likely that if AMD does not decide to take advantage of that 18% more density and maintains the same design and characteristics of the SoC, both PS5 and Xbox will be less hot and will be able to choose to a resize of the size or to a lower loudness if the current designs and heatsinks are maintained.
In any case, it should be clarified that the reason that the consoles move to the TSMC node N6 is rather related to the oversaturation of the TSMC manufacturing line that has caused a shortage for AMD. Let’s not forget that it is Lisa Su’s company that does business selling PS5 APUs and Xbox Series to both SONY and Microsoft.