TSMC already has working chips with CFET transistors
TSMC laboratories now have working chips with CFET transistors (Complementary FET), said a representative of the Taiwanese manufacturer during a technology symposium in Europe. However, the company still has a long way to go before bringing CFET products to market.
CFET transistors are in a very early stage of development. By the time they enter mass production, several generations of other types of transistors will appear, notes AnandTech.
Before CFETs, round-gate GAA transistors are expected, which TSMC will introduce with the upcoming 2nm N2 technology. CFETs will become ideological successors to GAAFETs, with advantages over them and FinFETs in energy efficiency, performance and transistor density.
However, all these advantages are still only a theory, which depends on whether the designers will be able to overcome the significant technological difficulties associated not only with the production, but also with the development of this type of transistors.
In particular, as TSMC notes, the production of CFET transistors will require extremely precise lithography tools to place n-type and p-type semiconductor elements side by side, as well as the highest quality materials with the necessary electrical properties.
Like any chip maker, TSMC develops and researches different types of transistors. CFET is also in Intel’s plans. However, TSMC was the first to report getting working CFETs in a lab.
Now the challenge for the Taiwanese company is to figure out how to mass produce these transistors. According to sources from the chipmaker, this is definitely not going to happen in the near future.
“Anything beyond nanosheets (on TSMC’s roadmap) is a matter of the distant future. We continue to work on several fronts. We are now exploring all (types of transistors) as candidates for future production, but we cannot say exactly which transistor architecture will be used after nanosheets,” commented Kevin Zhang, vice president and director of technology development at TSMC.
According to Zhang, TSMC plans to use GAA transistors for chip production for several years. “The use of nanosheets will start at 2 nanometers. It is logical to assume that nanosheets will be used for at least several generations to come. So if we’re talking about CFETs… we’ve been using the same FinFETs (transistors) for five generations, that’s more than 10 years,” he says.