Thursday, May 20th 2021

TSMC Claims Breakthrough on 1nm Chip Production

TSMC in collaboration with the National Taiwan University (NTU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have made a significant breakthrough in the development of 1-nanometer chips. The joint announcement comes after IBM earlier this month published news of their 2-nanometer chip development. The researchers found that the use of semi-metal bismuth (Bi) as contact electrodes for the 2D matrix can greatly reduce resistance and increase current. This discovery was first made by the MIT team before then being further refined by TSMC and NTU which will increase energy efficiency and performance in future processors. The 1-nanometer node won't be deployed for several years with TSMC planning to start 3-nanometer production in H2 2022.
Source: Nature
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35 Comments on TSMC Claims Breakthrough on 1nm Chip Production

#3
matar
Nanochip
What’s after 1nm ?
0.1 nm after that the end...lol
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#4
mtcn77
1Å, 1/10th size.
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#5
Nanochip
matar
0.1 nm after that the end...lol
Haha .
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#7
watzupken
Nanochip
What’s after 1nm ?
0.8nm or 0.5nm depending if its a half or full node change?
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#8
Dammeron
Nanochip
What’s after 1nm ?
Probably true 8nm or so...
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#9
Mathragh
This discovery was first made by the MIT team before then being further refined by TSMC and NUT which will increase energy efficiency and performance in future processors.
Haha small but funny spelling mistake. I believe the NUT in the 2nd last sentence should be NTU.

Thanks for the article! gives hope for the future of semiconductors.
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#10
ExcuseMeWtf
1 nm, I wonder what it ACTUALLY translates to in those samples lol.
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#11
Uskompuf
Mathragh
Haha small but funny spelling mistake. I believe the NUT in the 2nd last sentence should be NTU.

Thanks for the article! gives hope for the future of semiconductors.
Cheers updated.
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#12
Legacy-ZA
ExcuseMeWtf
1 nm, I wonder what it ACTUALLY translates to in those samples lol.
$100 000 GPUs? Cause, reasons...
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#13
Mathragh
Legacy-ZA
$100 000 GPUs? Cause, reasons...
Demand drives price,... Let's hope by that time supply is better able to serve it :)
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#14
JohnWal
Dammeron
Probably true 8nm or so...
So true and a comment probably lost on most posters....
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#15
lexluthermiester
There is a physical limit to how small a process can go before the constraints of the manufacturing equipment and atomic density prevents further reduction. 1nm is getting really close to that limit..
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#16
Mathragh
JohnWal
So true and a comment probably lost on most posters....
While I agree that it's slightly dishonest, one can argue that it started to matter a whole lot less when the state of the art switched (hehe geddit) away from planar transistors.
Putting 'nm numbers' on things like FinFETs, GAA FETs and whatever else they're cooking up doesn't really make all that much sense anymore anyway, and as technologies continue to develop it's less and less about those nanometers.

If only there was something else both straightforward and catchy that can represent both performance and scaling of the most basic building blocks of transistors these days,..

Edit: It makes me think of those oldskool "3200+" names AMD put on their CPUs when clocks started to matter less compared to IPC. It's not really a straightforward metaphor but similar imho.
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#17
mtcn77
JohnWal
Dammeron
Probably true 8nm or so...
So true and a comment probably lost on most posters....
The scaling factor has been superseded by the current drive which is the main factor that made FinFET so dominant.
Prior to FinFET, 3D gates weren't present. Actual 3D gates in the shape of GAAFET and MBCFET are 4D in comparison since the gate is surrounding the source in 4 directions instead of 3.
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#18
Ravenas
Nanochip
What’s after 1nm ?
pm
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#19
mechtech
Mathragh
Demand drives price,... Let's hope by that time supply is better able to serve it :)
While true on economic papers, scalpers and bots drives prices ;)
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#20
Mathragh
mechtech
While true on economic papers, scalpers and bots drives prices ;)
I agree that they currently do have an influence on prices, but would they also be able to do the same if there was enough supply to satisfy demand?
If anything it says to me that the products are too cheap for their demand so people are capitalizing on the difference. If supply and demand were in balance, scalpers shouldn't have a chance.
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#21
RealKGB
Ravenas
pm
"My GPU has 1 PM!! How do I respond to it????"

In all seriousness, I wonder what this means for CPUs and GPUs. Will this drive safe voltages down, up, or something else?
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#22
Ravenas
RealKGB
"My GPU has 1 PM!! How do I respond to it????"

In all seriousness, I wonder what this means for CPUs and GPUs. Will this drive safe voltages down, up, or something else?
Speaking broadly on top end hardware, all die shrinks have done so far is drive hz up and power up.
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#23
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
matar
0.1 nm after that the end...lol
Just for the record, a single Si atom's atomic radius is slightly larger than 0.1nm, which puts its diameter at approximately 0.2nm. I would love to hear how they'd make a transistor gate smaller than a silicon atom. :p
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#24
Punkenjoy
The next major step is how to do 3d stacking (2d slices stacked), then 3d chips.

In both case, the major issue will be the cooling. This is why 3d stacking is targeted right now at low power devices. But all manufacturer are working on solutions for that.
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#25
MxPhenom 216
ASIC Engineer
lexluthermiester
There is a physical limit to how small a process can go before the constraints of the manufacturing equipment and atomic density prevents further reduction. 1nm is getting really close to that limit..
Sort of, we got to that point at 22nm when everyone was trying to figure out how to go smaller. FINFET became that solution and its gotten us to 5nm.

Now we are in the same position and so far the proven ways to get us under 5nm has been Nanosheet or Nanowire (Gate all-around) FETs. Its all about how to control the channel effectively and not allow electrons to leak from source to drain even if the FET is technically off. FINFET has a lot better control over channel behavior, but as the transistors get smaller we run into same problems exhibited by normal planar FETs when first trying to get below 22nm.

You are dead on about manufacturing though, going to FINFET was hell and a half for the industry due to tight tolerances to how FINFETs function. Nanosheet and wire solutions are even more difficult. Costs is going to be insane.

This new contact material is pretty interesting actually. Might add a bit to manufacturing costs though.
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