TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) introduced an advanced 5-nanometer automotive chip — the N5A — this week during its ongoing virtual technology symposium.
Automotive chips typically fall into two categories: semiconductors with specialized, component-level functions and chips tasked with new computing-focused workloads. Specialized chips like micro-controller units (MCUs), power controllers, and sonic sensors are usually made using older, more mature process nodes, TSMC wrote.
The second type of car chips requires greater computing power to process new workloads like AI-enabled driver assistance, active safety, immersive infotainment, and wireless connectivity. The N5A is designed to address the growing demand for more advanced automotive semiconductors.
TSMC currently uses its 7 nm process nodes (N7 and N6) to make these more advanced automotive chipsets. Compared to 7 nm chips, the N5A provides around 20 percent better performance, about 40 percent better power efficiency, and an approximately 80-percent improvement in logic density.
The Taiwanese company’s N5A is currently undergoing certification for the car industry’s standards for quality, reliability, and functional safety, including the AEC-Q100, ISO 26262, and IATF16949 standards and is on track for release in the third quarter of 2022.