TSMC Starts 5-Nanometer Risk Production

Earlier this week TSMC announced that their 5-nanometer process technology has entered risk production. 5 nm PDKs are now available for production design and design components and rules have been delivered to their Open Innovation Platform (OIP), ready for customer designs.

5 nm

TSMC has not been very forthcoming about their 5 nm (or 7 nm) design rules. TSMC reported a 1.6x compaction ratio compared to their 10 nm node and 3.3x compared to 16 nm. They also reported 35% – 40% speed improvement or >65% power reduction over their 16 nm. We believe they are using a 54 nm gate pitch and a 40 nm metal pitch for their 7 nm node. This yields an estimated logic density of 96.27 MTr/mm².


Estimated Design Rules For 7 nm
16 nm 10 nm 7 nm
CPP 90 nm 66 nm 54 nm
MMP 64 nm 42 nm 40 nm
Density 28.88 MTr/mm² 52.51 MTr/mm² 96.27 MTr/mm²

Their 7-nanometer process has been in mass production since last year. As of Q4 2018, the node has accounted for 23% of total revenue.

Their 5 nm node continues to use bulk silicon FinFET transistors. Leveraging their experience from 7+, 5 nm is expected to utilize EUV for more critical layers in order to reduce the multi-patterning complexity. The 5 nm node is expected to deliver a 15% improvement in performance at constant power or a 20% reduction in power at constant performance. TSMC is targeting both low-power mobile and high-performance compute with this node. At the company’s technology symposium last year, it was disclosed that they are targeting a 1.8x compaction ratio compared to their 7 nm DUV node. Based on that, we estimate a gate pitch of 48 nm and a metal pitch of 30 nm for an estimated density of 171.3 MTr/mm².

Estimated Design Rules For 5 nm
7 nm 5 nm
CPP 54 nm 48 nm
MMP 40 nm 30 nm
Density 96.27 MTr/mm² 171.3 MTr/mm²


With those estimates, we expect the HD SRAM size for the 5-nanometer node to be around 0.017 µm² (20nm FP) to 0.019 µm² (22 nm FP).

Estimated 5 nm SRAM
16 nm 10 nm 7 nm 5 nm
SRAM 0.074 µm² 0.042 µm² 0.027 µm² 0.019 µm² (22 nm FP)
0.017 µm² (20 nm FP)

At their earnings call in January, TSMC stated they expect 5-nanometer volume production ramp in first half 2020.


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