TSMC has been able to reach 50% yields with their new 5nm line. With more customers using 5nm this will allow more leeway at 7nm. The monthly production capacity gradually increased from 50,000 units to 70,000 – 80,000 units as the process matures.

AMD Zen 2 yields has been close to 70% using 7nm so the 5nm result is nominally expected. Video card yields are lower at around 20% due to their much larger size dies. Zen 1 yields were closer to 90%.

The need for ultrapure silicon has been problematic for dealing with wafer defects. 1 part in 100 trillion is even too much of an impurity.

TSMC has increased their capital expenditures to be able to ramp up production for both 7nm and 5nm.

Immediately Apple’s A14 processor has already been taped out to be ready for the iPhone 12 next year. Hisilicon is also taping out already. The iPhone 11 A13 CPU is made on the 7nm line.

AMD is designing Zen 4 which is expected to also be made with 5nm. AMD is expected to launch Zen 3 early next year, first for mobile, followed by the channel for desktop users.

nVidia is using Samsung to fabricate Ampere and recent reports suggests their 7nm EUV line yields are disappointing.

EDA tools are standard for designing logic but they seem to be stretched to be able to handle ever small features. Fault tolerant logic is unable to cope with the undesirable level of faults on wafers.

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