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GPUs on 5nm, 3nm and beyond


New Member
Jan 24, 2021
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I've been thinking a lot about Moore's Law slowing down and how it affects us PC hardware enthusiasts.
Trying to predict what will GPU performance be like in 5-7 years on the 2nm node, what will the PS6 GPU be like and so on...
I'm really interested in why is the transistor density of 7nm TSMC fabed GPUs like for example AMDs Navi 21 so much behind TSMCs numbers for transistor density per mm^2 on those nodes?
Here you have a graph of node densities at TSMC in this article:

You can see that 10nm was 52 Million transistors per mm^2, 7nm is 91M per mm^2 and 5nm is 171M per mm^2.
So 7nm is 91M per mm^2, but 7nm Navi 21 on said node only has a density of 51M ( www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/amd-navi-21.g923 ), closer to last gen 10nm node than actual 7nm.

Does anyone have any idea as to why this is? I'm really interested in all the technical details if someone can and/or is willing to explain!

Articles like this one infuriate me:

How does someone writing for PC Gamer not know that these density numbers don't translate to real world products like GPUs?
If you are gonna write an article about future GPUs, at least do some research on current ones, know more than some random dude on a forum who's just interested in the topic!
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Aug 15, 2016
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From what I've read, there are different types and sizes of transistors on a single chip, that would mean the transistor density can fluxuate from manufacturer to manufacturer. This would explain the logic of Intel's 10 nm chips having transistor density of ~100M per mm2 and TSMC's 7nm chip density of ~96M per mm2. Bigger transistor density doesn't always mean better performance.

Edit: Cache size also affects transistor density. https://www.realworldtech.com/transistor-count-flawed-metric/
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Aug 18, 2015
920 (0.46/day)
Well it should be obvious by now that Navi is not 7nm pushed to its limits, at first l thought it's 10nm but hey they managed 50Mtr/mm^2 with Navi 21 where the 128 MB cache is pure density or closer to 65,6, the rest of the chip pulls the average back to 41. Xbox series and PS5 are 41MTr which is nowhere near 91. The performance node 7nm EUV is reported to be 77 same on both Samsung and TSMC. Nvidia GA100 7nm is 65.6MTr without the EUV, so 77Mtr EUV checks out perfectly. Only problem is EUV can't make bigger than 429mm2. So PS5 updated version on 5nm, Nvidia Lovelace lineups should be around 100Mtr or greater than double density. Unless they decide to go with 6nm also the 7nm EUV. Who believes 5nm can be out so soon.