TSMC has already started volume production of its next generation 7nm process; the first to incorporate its advanced EUV tech, and the node which should form the basis for AMD’s Zen 3 processors next year. The Taiwanese contract manufacturer started mass production of the 7nm+ process in March this year, which is a huge milestone for the technology, and it’s being used to create HiSilicon’s phone SoC, the Kirin 985. And if you don’t know who HiSilicon is, you’ll probably recognise its parent company, Huawei. Even if you’re not necessarily sure how to pronounce it correctly.
AMD isn’t kicking off the launch of its upcoming Ryzen 3000 series processors with TSMC’s new 7nm+ EUV process, instead it’s using the more-established 7nm production node this time around. As this is set to be the first volume production run using the 7nm+ process it makes sense to use it on a smaller, lower frequency chip design to start off with.
But what’s the point in this whole Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography? Well, it’s all about the masks, allowing for fewer manufacturing stages, increased density, and reduced power consumption. All the good stuff, in other words. Oh, and the possibility that it will cater for our silicon needs all the way down to a theoretical 1nm transistor size.