To date, the most advanced process technology for mass production of semiconductor products is 14 nm. It is used by Intel and Samsung for the release of processors and single-chip systems.
The next stage — 10-nanometer process technology. TSMC is producing processors for the iPhone 6s, is going to start pilot production of such products in the second half of this year. In early 2018, according to the company, we will be able to see the start of production of chips using the norms of 7 nm. However, not mentioned, is whether it is a mass issue or just about test trial batches. Anyway, the plans look quite ambitious.
While TSMC is not going to stay at this stage. Just two years later, i.e. in 2020, the company will be ready to go to the production of 5-nanometer process technology. At the moment it is believed that the manufacturer will use for the 5-nanometer chips for lithography in the deep ultraviolet. In TSMC claim to have made significant progress in the development of EUV.
Of course, we cannot be sure that all plans are implemented on time, as each transition to a finer process technology is associated with many technical nuances and problems.
According to analysts, the share of TSMC on the market 14/16-nm chips in 2016 will be 70% vs. 40% in the past. A 16-nanometer process is TSMC 16-nm FinFET and 16-nm FinFET Plus and 16-nm FinFET Compact, and their share in the current year may be more than 20% of the company’s revenues.
Previously it was found that single-chip platforms A9 Apple to release two different manufacturers Samsung and TSMC, and the first 14-nanometer technology FinFET, and the second 16-nanometer. Due to the use of various manufacturing processes the sizes of chips are different. Performance comparison showed that there is always a version of the iPhone with the processor TSMC.