TSMC announces new 5nm N4P process

Daniel Sims

Posts: 176   +10
Staff
Why it matters: This week TSMC announced another five-nanometer process, N4P. The company claims N4P will offer a number of improvements over its previous 5nm nodes in terms of both performance and power efficiency. We may start seeing the first N4P products in the second half of 2022.

On Tuesday, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced its N4P process. The 5nm enhancement should provide more choices for customers alongside its N5, N4, and N3 processes.

The silicon manufacturer is positioning N4P as a refinement of N5 and N4. TSMC claims N4P will have an 11 percent performance increase over N5 and a six percent increase over N4. The process should be 22 percent more power-efficient than N5 and have a six percent higher transistor density. It also says N4P will cut wafer cycle time and decrease process complexity by lowering the number of masks.

TSMC Senior Vice President of Business Development Kevin Zhang said N4P would offer a "further enhanced advanced technology platform" for mobile and HPC.

Over the summer, TSMC announced it would start risk production on 4nm chips in the third quarter of 2021—earlier than initially expected. It also said that its 3nm N3 node would begin mass production in the second half of next year.

TSMC is also planning to construct a 2nm fab early next year, with another one coming sometime later. The company hopes to begin manufacturing 2nm chips by 2024.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,341   +2,631
That's good. Is not as good as promising basically all of your 3nm allocation to Apple but hey it's something at least.
 

seeprime

Posts: 634   +809
My takeaway from this is that N4P should be a faster process, whereas going to 3nm from 5nm adds about three weeks of production time. TSMC may have a leg up with this. If they can successfully process more wafers with a less intensive technique then prices should stabilize, theoretically go down - but that's not happening soon.
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
That's good. Is not as good as promising basically all of your 3nm allocation to Apple but hey it's something at least.

Apple always sits on their best / newest nodes, nothing new here. Without Apple's money, TSMC would not be in the position they are. TSMC loves Apple. Every company loves to work with Apple. Cash flows.

Apple SoCs are great, really great actually (thanks Jim Keller) however part of the good performance and leadership comes from using the best node possible and most often software is optimized and tweaked perfectly for iOS, which is why real world experience is superior in most workloads. Look up real world performance iOS vs Android if you are in doubt. It's undeniable. Optimization is key.

Android will never see the same optimization, because there's thousands of different phones, with completely different specs. Developers knows what I am talking about. It's much easier to code for iOS, meaning less bugs and faster performance (and bugs are actually fixed when they sometime happen).

Logic 101.
 
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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,341   +2,631
Apple always sits on their best / newest nodes, nothing new here. Without Apple's money, TSMC would not be in the position they are. TSMC loves Apple. Every company loves to work with Apple. Cash flows.

Apple SoCs are great, really great actually (thanks Jim Keller) however part of the good performance and leadership comes from using the best node possible and most often software is optimized and tweaked perfectly for iOS, which is why real world experience is superior in most workloads. Look up real world performance iOS vs Android if you are in doubt. It's undeniable. Optimization is key.

Android will never see the same optimization, because there's thousands of different phones, with completely different specs. Developers knows what I am talking about. It's much easier to code for iOS, meaning less bugs and faster performance (and bugs are actually fixed when they sometime happen).

Logic 101.
I mean, you're not wrong in any of it I think, I just don't think I agree with your conclusion: Apple getting whatever they want so they can turn around and create a huge walled garden that's quickly coming closer to becoming a monopoly is, for me at least, not a good thing at all.

In fact the opposite, mostly because of this misconception that I think it's important to point out: a platform can be well defined and optimized for *without* being a walled garden and in fact even being open source in terms of the software side of it.

Now there probably would be some performance loses and we can actually see this in real time when we look at something like Final Cut pro vs Premiere on an M1 Max chip: Apple software just leaves Premiere behind. However the issue is at what costs: Premiere continues to be very popular because not everyone is willing to pay Apple money for the Apple experience and putting down an extra 1000 to 2000 USD if you gotta use Premiere, well it's probably not worth it and you can suffer through only a Ryzen based desktop or laptop that gets half the battery, 10-15% less performance but half the price or less than that.

But hey if you think we should all surrender all choice to Apple and just let them completely monopolize all 3nm production for chips good for you, but I'll never agree that's a good thing.
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
I mean, you're not wrong in any of it I think, I just don't think I agree with your conclusion: Apple getting whatever they want so they can turn around and create a huge walled garden that's quickly coming closer to becoming a monopoly is, for me at least, not a good thing at all.

In fact the opposite, mostly because of this misconception that I think it's important to point out: a platform can be well defined and optimized for *without* being a walled garden and in fact even being open source in terms of the software side of it.

Now there probably would be some performance loses and we can actually see this in real time when we look at something like Final Cut pro vs Premiere on an M1 Max chip: Apple software just leaves Premiere behind. However the issue is at what costs: Premiere continues to be very popular because not everyone is willing to pay Apple money for the Apple experience and putting down an extra 1000 to 2000 USD if you gotta use Premiere, well it's probably not worth it and you can suffer through only a Ryzen based desktop or laptop that gets half the battery, 10-15% less performance but half the price or less than that.

But hey if you think we should all surrender all choice to Apple and just let them completely monopolize all 3nm production for chips good for you, but I'll never agree that's a good thing.
Why do you consider iOS a wallet garden? In my experience it's far from it, the only money I pay to apple is 1 dollar a month for 100 gigabyte of icloud space, which is cheaper or on par with google drive space. iCloud backup works flawlessly, to perfection. I get a new iPhone every year thru work, and it loads EVERYTHING 1:1 every single time, right down to app icon placement and message inbox. I have never seen this happen on an Android phone, not with google acount, not with native sync apps like Samsung Switch or 3rd party apps.

Apple will never have monopoly. No need to be scared of that. Most people can't afford Apple products and this is why Android dominates the marketshare. Which is fine.


Both Intel and Samsung is closing in on TSMC, I doubt TSMC will be ahead of these two in a few years. Especially with the chip situation right now. Intel and Samsung will spend alot of money to get ahead again. Tons of chip plants are being made all over the world right now. Intel builds like crazy. We don't want to rely on one company, like TSMC. Nvidia went with Samsung for Ampere for this exact reason, and Ampere sold way better than RDNA2 because of this fact. Nvidia saw this coming. AMD relies 100% on TSMC and almost all their chips suffers, console apu's + gpu's especially.

TSMC is right now the most advanced however not by alot and in terms of chip supply they are not the biggest, both Intel and Samsung are making more chips than TSMC.

However AMD don't need 3nm TSMC anytime soon. Neither do they want it, because it will ruin AMDs pricing. The node is simply too expensive for AMD. Just like 5nm is right now.
AMD will do 5nm when Apple moves to 4/3nm, which is on point with Intel's Raptor Lake using the Intel 4 proces (former 7nm) so they don't really need it.

Intel 4 = Former 7nm = More dense than TSMC 7nm even 6nm and probably close to their 5nm, that AMD is going to use for Zen 4 and this is why nanometer has become an useless metric for chip density across different fabs.

Nanometer tells you pretty much nothing these days, unless you only use their term internally. You need to look at clockspeeds/performance, watt usage and probably yields.

As a consumer only performance and watt usage should matter and real world performance and real world watt usage is more important than peaking with synthetic loads.
 
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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,341   +2,631
Why do you consider iOS a wallet garden? In my experience it's far from it, the only money I pay to apple is 1 dollar a month for 100 gigabyte of icloud space, which is cheaper or on par with google drive space.
How is it NOT? Being a good deal in terms of money (in your opinion) doesn't helps the fact that you can't side load apps, you can't install a different OS on the device for a while you weren't even able to transfer files to a non-apple device easily and they purposefully made the devices hard to repair and modify so you have to go through them.

They have even been caught intentionally reducing the performance of older devices so you'd buy new ones under some ridiculous claims.

Honestly I don't think I can take you seriously at all here.
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
How is it NOT? Being a good deal in terms of money (in your opinion) doesn't helps the fact that you can't side load apps, you can't install a different OS on the device for a while you weren't even able to transfer files to a non-apple device easily and they purposefully made the devices hard to repair and modify so you have to go through them.

They have even been caught intentionally reducing the performance of older devices so you'd buy new ones under some ridiculous claims.

Honestly I don't think I can take you seriously at all here.

You can do what you want if you jailbreak the device, up to you.

Transfering files have always been easy. I'm using iPhone for my private phone and Android for my work phone and have been doing this for years. Don't really have to with cloud tho. By doing this, I follow both iOS and Android too, meaning I have full experience of both. Android have far more issues in general. Both OS bugs and app bugs + random battery drain still happens with Android. iPhone has much better realworld performance in pretty much ALL popular apps. Top-end SoC + optimization does this.

Sideloading of apps, why? So you can pirate apps? Install apps with trojans and spyware? I will never understand. Sideloading of apps is what makes Android insecure. 3rd party apk files riddled with garbage; YEAH, LETS INSTALL! Why do you think all phishing targets android? Never iOS; Because it is pointless. A locked ecosystem will always be more secure. I have seen far too many hijacked Android devices over the years, with people peeking thru front and rear cam because the fool installed some random apk 😂 Sounds great right. There's even custom ROMs with malware built in. Lets ROOT!

Apple support their phones for 5+ years every single time, both OS and security updates. Android phones barely get 1 year of support on average in comparison. Cheaper android devices have bugs on release and will have bugs after 6 months as well. They make so many devices that the company don't care about fixing them. They rather want to sell you a new one. Google is already trying to address this huge issue with their Pixel lineup, however you are still only getting 2½ years, not even half of what Apple does. Actually some Apple phones are closing in on 7 years of support (iOS 15 support).

They throttled CPU speed ONLY on devices with a weak batteries, huge difference. If you think they did it to sell a new iPhone you are completely clueless. Most people would want better battery life over full performance anyway and it did not take long before you had the OPTION on the affected phones; FULL SPEED or BATTERY LIFE, pick what you want ;) or simply replace the battery, like you should be doing anyway on 3+ year old device anyway..
 
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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,852   +4,528
You can do what you want if you jailbreak the device, up to you.

Transfering files have always been easy. I'm using iPhone for my private phone and Android for my work phone and have been doing this for years. Don't really have to with cloud tho. By doing this, I follow both iOS and Android too, meaning I have full experience of both. Android have far more issues in general. Both OS bugs and app bugs + random battery drain still happens with Android. iPhone has much better realworld performance in pretty much ALL popular apps. Top-end SoC + optimization does this.

Sideloading of apps, why? So you can pirate apps? Install apps with trojans and spyware? I will never understand. Sideloading of apps is what makes Android insecure. 3rd party apk files riddled with garbage; YEAH, LETS INSTALL! Why do you think all phishing targets android? Never iOS; Because it is pointless. A locked ecosystem will always be more secure.

Apple support their phones for 5+ years every single time, both OS and security updates. Android phones barely get 1 year of support on average in comparison. Cheaper android devices have bugs on release and will have bugs after 6 months as well. They make so many devices that the company don't care about fixing them. They rather want to sell you a new one. Google is already trying to address this huge issue with their Pixel lineup, however you are still only getting 2½ years, not even half of what Apple does. Actually some Apple phones are closing in on 7 years of support (iOS 15 support).

They throttled CPU speed ONLY on devices with a weak batteries, huge difference. If you think they did it to sell a new iPhone you are completely clueless. Most people would want better battery life over full performance anyway and it did not take long before you had the OPTION on the affected phones; FULL SPEED or BATTERY LIFE, pick what you want ;) or simply replace the battery, like you should be doing anyway on 3+ year old device...
So you have to jailbreak the device to install anything that isnt from apple.

This si supposed to convince us that it is NOT a walled garden?

Do you knwo what walled garden means?
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,056   +877
They have even been caught intentionally reducing the performance of older devices so you'd buy new ones under some ridiculous claims.

That’s a lie. They were caught reducing the clock speed of older devices in order to prevent the batteries from cutting out.

Apple support old devices better than any other manufacturer on the planet. Stop talking out of your butthole.
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
So you have to jailbreak the device to install anything that isnt from apple.

This si supposed to convince us that it is NOT a walled garden?

Do you knwo what walled garden means?

No I have to jailbreak to install something that is not considered secure / has it code reviewed before hitting the store. But I don't.

Nah, 99.99% of stuff on the Appstore is not "From Apple" - Sigh 😂

And the store has tons of free apps, way better quality than Playstore and apps are actually optimized and works every time - thats not the case on Android and Android has tons of insecure apps on the store just to bump up the app count - Google barely review apps before they are up.

Also, apps on iOS can't track you without asking you - On Google you can easily be tracked instantly (by 3rd party). Tons of arcticles about this lately. I guess you "don't care".



There's literally tons of malware for Android. Users are hit all the time.

Squid Game - Android Joker was the last app to infect Android users EVEN THO it was downloaded thru the official store - Sigh... 😂

Once again, why do you think 100% of phishing on mobile devices are targetted at Android and not iOS? Oh yeah... We all know why 😂

Walled Garden, who cares, no-one forces you to buy anything and you can get refunds of subs and apps anyway if you don't like them. The general quality of apps on iOS is far superior to Android - they actually work and are optimized.

And this is why Appstore is far more succesful than Playstore too ;)
 
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Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
What will happen beyond 1nm?
Nanometer is an useless term for comparison, they will simply just name the node something that makes sense

Nanometer became a marketing term in the last 5 years. Has very little to do with the actual node
 

dualkelly

Posts: 148   +136
That’s a lie. They were caught reducing the clock speed of older devices in order to prevent the batteries from cutting out.

Apple support old devices better than any other manufacturer on the planet. Stop talking out of your butthole.
Apple fan bois gotta love them. They litteraly were sued and had to pay out 113 million to people that were forced to upgrade their old phones. plus they use child slave labor. gotta love you people who support that.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,056   +877
Apple fan bois gotta love them. They litteraly were sued and had to pay out 113 million to people that were forced to upgrade their old phones. plus they use child slave labor. gotta love you people who support that.
Apple still are the only company to provide support for updates for more than 2-3 years. They do the opposite of planned obsolescence. I pity anyone who believes otherwise.

Oh and the lawsuit fined Apple for lying, not for obsoleting devices. You probably just don’t know what you are talking about.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,056   +877
I don’t subscribe to the washington post so I can’t read it.

But what is indisputable is that Apple support their phones far longer than anyone else. They do not gimp their devices to force proper to upgrade. Apple just need to stop providing updates to older devices if they want to get people to upgrade. Why would Apple provide such long support for their devices if they want people to upgrade?

The whol planned obsolescence argument is absurd. It’s just not happening.