TSMC announces N4X production nodes specifically designed for HPC
The high performance computing sector has been seeing tremendous growth in the past few years thanks to the development breakthroughs made in AI and machine learning. This has not gone unnoticed by TSMC, and the Taiwanese foundry is now announcing its N4X HPC-focused production nodes based on the intermediary N4 process technology. The X designation will be used from now on to indicate technologies specifically developed for HPC products.
Being an intermediary of the N5 nodes, the new N4X process technology adds advanced features for HPC products, such as:
- Device design and structures optimized for high drive current and maximum frequency
- Back-end metal stack optimization for high-performance designs
- Super high density metal-insulator-metal capacitors for robust power delivery under extreme performance loads
Moreover, the N4X nodes are complemented by TSMC’s 3DFabric advanced packaging and the Open Innovation Platform therefore facilitating increased design flexibility and highly optimized circuitry for HPC applications.
All these N4X features combine to offer performance boosts of up to 15% over the N5 nodes, and up to 4% over the upcoming N4P that will be operating at 1.2 volts. The high density capacitors are designed to achieve drive voltages higher than 1.2 volts and thus squeeze additional performance. In order to deliver faster development and implementation times, the N4X process will be compatible with existing N5 nodes, and risk production is scheduled to start in 1H2023.