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Is TSMC on course for the one trillion transistor chip?

Taiwan's TSMC says it is working towards the ambitious goal of delivering a chip package comprising one trillion transistors.

According to a report by Tom's Hardware, the company outlined its progress at the IEDM conference. It described how it is currently working towards 200 billion transistor chips based around its 2nm-class N2 and N2P production nodes (expected 2025-2027) and 1.4nm-class A14 and 1nm-class A10 fabrication processes (expected 2027-2030).

However, it is also apprising innovation in packaging technologies (such as CoWoS, InFO and SoIC) that could pave the way for massive multi-chiplet solutions that pack more than a trillion transistors on a wafer of silicon.

TSMC is not alone of course. Intel and others are also locked in a race to maintain the pace of transistor density in line with Moore's Law. The problem is economics since the price per transistor rises sharply when moving to denser nodes. Building such large processors is getting more complex and expensive. To get around this, the industry is migrating to chiplet-based designs. For example, AMD's Instinct MI300X and Intel's Ponte Vecchio consist of dozens of chiplets.

In its presentation, TSMC said there will be even more complex monolithic chips with over 100 billion transistors soon.

 


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February 13 2024 4:53 pm V22.3.28-1
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