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TSMC launches N4e special process to increase production capacity by 50%

TSMC announced at the 2024 European Technology Forum that it plans to expand its special process capacity by 50% in the future and enhance the resilience of its semiconductor supply chain.

In addition to standard processes, TSMC can also provide a series of special process/process OEM services, including:

MEMS sensor SoC process, CIS technology for CMOS image sensors, embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM), hybrid/RF products, analog chips, high-voltage semiconductors, BCD power ICs, and ultra-low power (ULP) devices.



TSMC will build low-power 4-nanometer nodes called N4e, and TSMC's official blueprint will include N4e in the N4P and N4X lineup.

It is not yet clear which customers or applications may use the N4e process, but it may be specifically designed for IoT and other power consuming devices. Usually, mature processes are used for applications, as the cost of using advanced processes for relatively inexpensive equipment is too high. TSMC is planning for demand, as the plan will not be implemented until around 2029.

TSMC's Deputy General Manager for Business Development and Overseas Operations, Zhang Xiaoqiang, emphasized that the construction of the N4e energy-saving process production line has begun. Zhang Xiaoqiang did not disclose the location of the production line. The rapid deployment of the production line is TSMC's first time basically skipping the lengthy review process and starting.

TSMC's Deputy Co COO in charge of international business, Zhang Xiaoqiang, stated that TSMC has recently resumed the construction of new wafer fabs specifically for special processes. Over the next four to five years, TSMC will increase special process production capacity by 50% to expand the overall scale of its semiconductor foundry network.

It is reported that TSMC's most advanced process in the field of ultra-low power consumption is N6e. As a 7nm variant node, N6e supports a working voltage of 0.4-0.9V and is expected to start production within this year. The news indicates that TSMC hopes to reduce the N4e voltage all the way to 0.4V, but the seminar did not mention detailed performance or attribute information.

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