A 5nm wafer from TSMC costs almost twice as much as a 7nm

It is expensive to advance the manufacturing process of the processors, and that means that TSMC’s 5nm node would be much more expensive than the 7nm node.

Samsung and TSMC are struggling to attract customers who want to have 5nm process chips manufactured. In the case of TSMC, we know that their customers pay almost twice as much for chips manufactured in this process compared to 7nm from the same company. You know what they say: “Everything new is more expensive”.

Currently, the Apple A14 processor is one of the products with this 5nm node manufactured by TSMC. At Apple’s presentation, it was said that this processor would power the iPhone 12 and the iPad Air 4.

We assume that these products will not be cheap. We have relied on studies by experts in the semiconductor industry to confirm this. We took an NVIDIA P100 chip as a reference, which has a surface area of 610 mm² and 90.7 billion transistors. The sales price of a single 5nm wafer is approximately $16,988. This represents a price increase of more than 80% over 7nm.

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Considering that the number of chips that can be sliced in a 300 mm wafer is increasing, the melting price of a single chip is $238, which is only $5 over 7 nm. This calculation serves as an advertisement for TSMC, as the 5 nm process provides a 15% increase in yield and a 30% reduction in energy consumption.

Why are 5nm wafers more expensive? Basically because of the complexity of the process. EUV has up to 14 layers, in each layer you have to use ASML’s Twinscan NXE, a machine that costs $120 million. Not to mention that the initial phase of production is always the most expensive, while performance gradually increases.

A 5nm wafer from TSMC costs almost twice as much as a 7nm

If we take this chart as a test, we will see that the price difference between the sale of a 5nm chip and the sale of a 5nm wafer The unit price is affordable, but the wafers are shooting up skyrocketing. The difference between a 7nm wafer and a 5nm wafer is

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For the time being, the chips that come into this process will increase the selling price. Do you think that the companies that want this process will have to pay for it, and it is not exactly cheap?