TSMC send out word that it plans to start trial production on its 7nm process in the first half of 2017. At the foundry's investor meeting on April 14, co-CEO Mark Liu revealed that TSMC has over 20 customers engaged on its 7nm process, and that it has 15 customer tape-outs lined up in 2017.
Volume production on the 7nm node is expected in the first half of 2018. Whereas TSMC's 10nm node primarily focuses on mobile devices, the 7nm node will be suitable for both mobile and high-performance computing applications.
TSMC's 7nm technology leverages 95% the same equipment as 10nm, said Liu, adding that the company is "well on track" with its 7nm development. "N7 is a further extension of N10 technology, with more than 60% in logic density gain and 30% to 40% reduction in power consumption," Liu indicated.
TSMC also said that sizeable demand for 10nm will start in Q2 2017 and that it received its first customer 10nm tape-outs in Q1 2016.