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TSMC confirms that the N3E node is nearing completion

Within the world of semiconductors, TSMC holds a very important position, that does not support discussion. The efforts that the Taiwanese giant has been making in recent years have allowed it to become a figure of such caliber that even Intel has resorted to it to be able to carry out all its production of semiconductors.

Currently, TSMC also produces the chips needed by other large like AMD, which uses its 7nm node in its Zen 3 processors and in its Radeon RX 6000; Apple and Qualcomm, which use the 5nm and 4nm nodes, respectively, and NVIDIA has also joined, who will use the 5nm node in their next generation of graphics cards.

To stay as one of the big players in the industry, TSMC is working on different 3nm nodes. At the moment we have evidence that the nodes N3, N3B and N3E are in development. The first to arrive would be the N3 node, which would enter the mass production phase in 2023. For its part, the N3E node, which was due to arrive in 2024, seems that it could be available a little earlier, since TSMC has confirmed that it is at about to end it.

The N3E node was outlined as an improved version of the N3 node, but in the end it seems that it will remain in an alternative version with fewer EUV layers (lower from 25 to 21). This, coupled with his lower transistor density, would make it easier to produce, and would have a higher success rate per wafer, with all that this entails in terms of economic viability. Despite that density reduction, this node will outperform the 5nm node by up to 60% (in transistor density). For comparison purposes, the N3 node will be 70% denser than the 5nm node.

According to the information we have seen, the N3E node could be finished at the end of this same month of March, which means that production could start from the second quarter of this year. With this in mind, it is easy to think that its availability will be a reality later this year, and that Apple could be one of the first to use this node with its next-generation A-series chip, which will be present in the iPhone 14. .

TSMC’s N3E node will offer improvements in performance and efficiency, and will also have a higher hit rate per wafer, so yes, it fits the bill as a viable solution for shaping high-performance chips. Regarding the node N3B, it is commented that it is an improved version of the N3 nodebut we don’t have concrete information yet, so we don’t know what it will actually offer against the other two nodes.

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