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TSMC announces its first 3nm AI chip customer – neither Apple nor Huawei

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At TSMC’s 26th Technical Symposium,TSMC formally confirmed that its 5nm and 6nm processes are already in mass manufacturing. In addition, the company moreover launched that it will launch a greater mannequin of the 5nm course of subsequent yr. Furthermore, TSMC formally confirmed that further superior 2nm, 3nm, and 4nm is in development. As for the 4nm course of, it is an remaining enchancment of 5nm. However, the 3nm course of is the pure successor to the 5nm course of.

In phrases of technical indicators, the hazard manufacturing of the 3nm course of (N3) will occur subsequent yr. The mass manufacturing will start in 2022. Compared with 5nm, 3nm will reduce vitality consumption by 25-30% and improve effectivity by 10-15%. The 4nm (N4) risk manufacturing might be scheduled to occur subsequent yr. Just identical to the 3nm course of, 4nm mass manufacturing will start in 2022. For TSMC N5 purchasers, the transition to N4 shall be very straightforward, which suggests that the tape-out worth shall be tremendously lowered.

Graphcore to use TSMC 3nm

TSMC’s new know-how is often launched by Apple’s A-series processors, notably inside the mass manufacturing stage. In the earlier two years, Huawei moreover launches TSMC’s new know-how. Kirin 980 and Kirin 990 5G respectively launched TSMC 7nm and 7nm EUV course of respectively.

There have been speculations that the Apple A16 processor could be the first to utilize TSMC’s 3nm manufacturing course of. However, this isn’t going to be the case considering TSMC’s latest announcement. According to the Taiwanese producer, its first 3nm customer is British startup, Graphcore. This agency is barely four years outdated and it focuses on AI chip development.

Graphcore has constructed a few chips for machine intelligence to hurry up machine learning and AI features. The agency solely these days launched its second product, the Colossus MK2 IPU chip. Compared with the sooner 16nm Colossus MK1 IPU chip, the Colossus MK2 makes use of a 7nm manufacturing course of. The number of transistors has elevated from 23.6 billion to 59.4 billion. In addition, the number of environment friendly cores is as extreme as 1472.

The agency moreover has PCIe interface accelerator withAI effectivity of as a lot as 1PFLOPS, and memory functionality as a lot as 450GB. The Colossus MK2 chip makes use of the 7nm course of. However, there is no Colossus 5nm chip. This is not going to be a shock considering the massive demand for TSMC’s 5nm course of, notably from Huawei. Colossus will now launch a 3nm chip. Its absence inside the 5nm course of is a objective why it’s doubtless one of many earliest with the 3nm course of.

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