Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has revealed its process technology migration roadmap last week. As it appears, the company will keep its tactic with 20nm and will only offer one version of process tech instead of four today.
TSMC intends to deploy mass manufacturing of system-on-chip products using 20nm process technology next year and plans to start risk production of chips using 16nm FinFET fabrication process sometime in November, 2013, which points to mass availability of such chips in 2014 - 2015. Preliminary schedule for 10nm manufacturing technology points to 2016, according to a technology roadmap published by EETimes web-site.
It is noteworthy that TSMC intends to use ARM’s first 64-bit processor, the ARMv8, as a test vehicle for the 16nm FinFET process; the tape out of the first test chip will occur next year. TSMC is expected to have chip design kits for its 16nm process available in January with the first foundation IP blocks, such as standard cells and SRAM blocks ready a month later.
“TSMC’s 16nm FinFET process will be substantially similar to its 20nm high-K metal gate SoC process in the back-end,” said Cliff Hou, vice president of research and development at TSMC.
Recently introduced 14nm-XM offering from Globalfoundries is based on a modular technology architecture that uses a 14nm FinFET device combined with its 20nm-LPM process back-end-of-line (BEOL) interconnect flow. Leveraging the maturity of the 20nm-LPM technology will enable a rapid time-to-market as well as a smooth transition for customers looking to tap the benefits of FinFET system-on-chips, such as lower power consumption and higher performace, as soon as possible.