Thursday, December 16th 2021

TSMC Announces the N4X Silicon Fabrication Process

TSMC today introduced its N4X process technology, tailored for the demanding workloads of high performance computing (HPC) products. N4X is the first of TSMC's HPC-focused technology offerings, representing ultimate performance and maximum clock frequencies in the 5-nanometer family. The "X" designation is reserved for TSMC technologies that are developed specifically for HPC products.

"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."
Leveraging its experience in 5 nm 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
  • Back-end metal stack optimization for high-performance designs
  • Super high density metal-insulator-metal capacitors for robust power delivery under extreme performance loads
  • 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.
TSMC's HPC platform not only offers performance-optimized silicon with N4X technology, but also provides the greatest design flexibility with its comprehensive 3DFabric advanced packaging technologies and a broad design enablement platform with our ecosystem partners through the TSMC Open Innovation Platform.

For more information, visit this page.
Add your own comment

15 Comments on TSMC Announces the N4X Silicon Fabrication Process

#1
Tigger
I'm the only one
So AMD is using TSMC's 3DFabric for their CPU, and i thought it was AMD's idea.
Posted on Reply
#2
HD64G
TiggerSo AMD is using TSMC's 3DFabric for their CPU, and i thought it was AMD's idea.
Maybe you have misunderstood something. It is one thing the way of making a thing or the design of it and it is another thing who makes it happen in the end. AMD designed the way the cache connects to the chip below it and TSMC designed the machines to make it happen.
Posted on Reply
#3
Tigger
I'm the only one
HD64GMaybe you have misunderstood something. It is one thing the way of making a thing or the design of it and it is another thing who makes it happen in the end. AMD designed the way the cache connects to the chip below it and TSMC designed the machines to make it happen.
So who came up with 3Dfabric, TSMC or AMD?
Posted on Reply
#4
Wirko
TiggerSo AMD is using TSMC's 3DFabric for their CPU, and i thought it was AMD's idea.
Analysis at Anandtech shows that AMD took TSMC's technology. AMD seems to have confirmed that.
this is clearly TSMC’s SoIC Chip-on-Wafer in action, albeit with only two layers.
In a call with AMD, we have confirmed the following: ... ... AMD knows that TSMC can do multiple stacked dies, however AMD is only talking about a 1-High stack at this time which it will bring to market.
www.anandtech.com/show/16725/amd-demonstrates-stacked-vcache-technology-2-tbsec-for-15-gaming

With that said, these are leading-edge packaging technologies, they've been developed with specific customers in mind and may include know-how from those customers. It's not like AMD's purchase manager called TSMC's sales manager and said, hey, we heard you have that, can we have some of it.
Posted on Reply
#5
Tigger
I'm the only one
So if there is any advantage to 3Dfabric for AMD it is thanks to TSMC.
Posted on Reply
#6
dragontamer5788
TiggerSo if there is any advantage to 3Dfabric for AMD it is thanks to TSMC.
AMD's innovation was moving to chiplets like 5 years ago, in preparation for this tech to be ready. TSMC is the actual manufacturer though. So of course its TSMC's innovation to actually be able to stich chips together like this. AMD + GloFo were working on this though even as early as Zen1.

Other companies are getting on the chiplet train later than AMD. IBM seems to have been ready for it, NVidia has a bit of usage but not as much as I thought they'd have by now. AMD really went all in on chiplet designs: Zen1, Zen2, Zen3, MI200, etc. etc.

AMD didn't make the physical connections. They just rewrote their protocols to use such connections (aka: Infinity Fabric), which is still a major step forward... albeit a temporary one. (Now that chiplets are proven, everyone else is moving into the space, such as Intel)
Posted on Reply
#7
R0H1T
TiggerSo if there is any advantage to 3Dfabric for AMD it is thanks to TSMC.
Not sure what your point is? You know who's making the physicals chips, the exotic interconnects or the package right?
Posted on Reply
#9
Tigger
I'm the only one
My point is, the way everyone goes on about this 3D stuff as if AMD came up with it, but they never, it seems it was TSMC. Will they get a TM on the box re 3D stacking or just a fat % off AMD for using it.
Posted on Reply
#10
RandallFlagg
TiggerMy point is, the way everyone goes on about this 3D stuff as if AMD came up with it, but they never, it seems it was TSMC. Will they get a TM on the box re 3D stacking or just a fat % off AMD for using it.
AMD has a superb marketing department.

It's probably worth mentioning that the first 3D Stack product was 3D HBM on the Fury GPU. That was 6 years ago IIRC.

Also Intel Lakefield was a Foveros 3D chip.
Posted on Reply
#11
Tigger
I'm the only one
Suppose in the same vein, Intel never actually came up with Big/Little, just their take on it. Is AMD's 3D stack as designed by TSMC or have AMD tweaked it?
Posted on Reply
#12
RandallFlagg
TiggerSuppose in the same vein, Intel never actually came up with Big/Little, just their take on it. Is AMD's 3D stack as designed by TSMC or have AMD tweaked it?
I would imagine that TSMC gave AMD a tool kit for their process node and packaging tech, and AMD used that. I seriously doubt AMD has anything to do with packaging, at least to any large degree - that's the foundry's job. There's an article on AT somewhere that talks about this, but TSMC would literally give like a portfolio or tool kit and from that companies like AMD design their chips. The 'electronics design' of this is ofc on AMD using those tools, but the physics of making the package and the chip is on TSMC. Even the technology that enables 'chiplets' is not AMDs.

So as far as 3D stacking, that's not new. Heat is the main problem, which is why you only see it on something like Lakefield or memory modules so far. Will be interesting to see if / how they solved that.
Posted on Reply
#13
Tigger
I'm the only one
RandallFlaggI would imagine that TSMC gave AMD a tool kit for their process node and packaging tech, and AMD used that. I seriously doubt AMD has anything to do with packaging, at least to any large degree - that's the foundry's job. There's an article on AT somewhere that talks about this, but TSMC would literally give like a portfolio or tool kit and from that companies like AMD design their chips. The 'electronics design' of this is ofc on AMD using those tools, but the physics of making the package and the chip is on TSMC. Even the technology that enables 'chiplets' is not AMDs.

So as far as 3D stacking, that's not new. Heat is the main problem, which is why you only see it on something like Lakefield or memory modules so far. Will be interesting to see if / how they solved that.
Heat is the main problem indeed, as the heat from the bottom die has only 1 place to go and that is through the one on top.
Posted on Reply
#14
Prima.Vera
Anyone knows, what is the EXACT ACTUAL dimension of the transistors and transistor gates? For Intel, TSMC and Samsung's?
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment
May 16th, 2022 09:09 EDT change timezone

New Forum Posts

Popular Reviews

Controversial News Posts