TSMC indicated at the IEDM conference that its 5nm process has a whopping 84% greater density than a comparable product at 7nm. The company will soon start mass production on this new node, which makes considerable use of EUV.

X-Ray lamps are available which is likely to find some exployment when feature sizes need to improve. Deep X-Ray can reach down to 0.1nm which is dramatically smaller than what TSMC can do now.

Secondary electrons have energies of 25 eV or less, and can be generated by any ionizing radiation (VUV, EUV, X-rays, ions and other electrons). Auger electrons have energies of hundreds of electronvolts. The secondaries (generated by and outnumbering the Auger and primary photoelectrons) are the main agents for resist exposure.

Ion beam lithography can reach even smaller dimensions. In addition to diffraction being negligible, ions move in straighter paths than electrons do both through vacuum and through matter, so there seems be a potential for very high resolution. Secondary particles (electrons and atoms) have very short range, because of the lower speed of the ions. If this can be achieved then lower costs for everyone is assured.

Mass production at TSMC is expected to start in April / May. The first products with 5nm hardware on board are expected in the autumn. One of the largest customers is Apple, of which the new devices are expected in September.

More interesting to the gaming community is that AMD is looking to using the N5P line for some new hardware. AMD will be making new processors and graphics cards on the N5P line which will be of interest to team red fanboys.

AMD Zen 3 processors are currently being made on the TSMC N7P line and should be available soon. The Zen 4 processors will not likely be available until 2021 depending on how many wafers Apple wants etc.

AMD may also offer a new chipset for motherboard makers.

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