TSMC refutes 10nm delay reports, new Apple and Qualcomm processors on track

TSMC refutes 10nm delay reports, new Apple and Qualcomm processors on track
Less than a week ago, a report from Taiwan suggested that local chipset production powerhouse TSMC may have skipped a beat on its 10nm fabrication process, potentially leading to delays for upcoming products such as Apple's rumored new iPads.

Thankfully, the company refuted said report and ensured everyone that the 10nm process is "totally on track." It also shared that the 10nm process will make up less than 1% of its overall revenue throughout the first quarter of 2017, despite high-profile orders by the likes of Apple and Qualcomm. TSMC will be producing the A10 and A11 chips to be used in Apple's iOS products of 2017, along with Qualcomm's premium-tier Snapdragon 835 processor. Hopefully, we can rest assured that these important chipsets will be ready just in time for the prolific product launches that await us next year.

Throughout 2017, TSMC will ramp up 7nm production proceeding with the 5nm process in 2019 and 3nm process by 2022. TSMC, along with fellow silicone slingers Intel and Samsung intend to take chipset geometries to an "effective" 1nm, using three-dimensional approaches to probe beyond the 10nm limit proposed by Moore's law. However, Intel believes its 10nm process, which will be used for the creation of ARM architecture-based mobile chips ordered by the likes of LG Electronics, can outperform its rivals.

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16 Comments

1. domfonusr

Posts: 1083; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

At some point, the junctions will be small enough that quantum effects will overwhelm the voltage between switches, and barrier-tunneling will result in signals going to places they weren't intended to go. Once that limit is reached, there will be no way to usefully make the transistors any smaller, and so I wonder how close we are to that limit.

3. Unordinary unregistered

TSMC is already testing 4nm production for Apple. Not sure it was reported here but it was news a few weeks ago on other sites

4. domfonusr

Posts: 1083; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

The article here said they are planning on having 1nm processes at some point. That is on the order of just 10 or so atoms thick! At some point, the ability of an electron to be at more than one location at a time, and to be able to be on both sides of a barrier with considerable probability (as the barrier potential falls with decreasing size), will overwhelm the separation between junctions, and electrons will leap across transistor switches that are not turned on - quantum effects will overwhelm the designed paths in the electronics at some very small scale. I just wonder at what scale they expect that to happen.

9. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

15. domfonusr

Posts: 1083; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Oh, that is wild! I wish they would talk more about the specifics of the technique that they've used, but still, very interesting indeed.

8. Ticklemyfancy

Posts: 214; Member since: Oct 09, 2016

I guess it'll saturate at 1nm unless newer technologies and discoveries are made.

2. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"It also shared that the 10nm process will make up less than 1% of its overall revenue throughout the first quarter of 2017, despite high-profile orders by the likes of Apple and Qualcomm" What? Isn't the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 fabbed using Samsung's 10nm process?

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Probably the Qualcomm Centriq 2400 (their server SoC) When they announced the 835 they specifically said Samsunghttps://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2016/11/17/qualcomm-and-samsung-collaborate-10nm-process-technology-latest-snapdragon But for the Qualcomm Centriq 2400 they just said its 10nmhttps://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2016/12/07/qualcomm-begins-commercial-sampling-worlds-first-10nm-server-processor-and So it could be Samsung or TSMC, might not decided yet

10. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Thanks for the valuable info, @vincelongman... I appreciate it.

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

You're welcome :D

16. AmashAziz

Posts: 2898; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

You have become much better since the last time I saw you......great work!

6. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

835 is to be manufactured by Samsung/GlobalFoundries, not TSMC.

7. Tizo101

Posts: 526; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

can't wait for 1nm, but there are many drawbacks at that point. After 5nm everything is gonna be extra hard to do.

13. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Yield issue along with current leakage from gates would be the technological hurdle to be overcome

12. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

isn't it the same thing every year? "Delays with next iphone" "Iphone is out but short supply" Making people rush to try to get one, and then later we find out the 'low' supply wasn't true, but simply a sale's method, nothing 'wrong' in it, but seems to be repeating?

14. Iodine

Posts: 1478; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

10 nm better be matured to make up for a beastly 3-billion plus transistor A10X.

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