In short: The latest technology nodes, which currently include 5nm and 3nm processes, tend to get all the attention because they are used in the latest and most powerful products. However, manufacturers continue to use older and less dense nodes for other important chips. Taiwanese company TSMC wants its customers in these sectors to move to 28nm nodes.

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TSMC recently specified it will not increase production capacity for technology nodes older than 28 nm. The company will have to convince its customers who are still using 40nm or 65nm products to upgrade to the more expensive 28nm, which will be its main mature node in the future.

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The processors of the latest PCs, game consoles and smartphones use the latest, densest and most expensive nodes such as 8nm and 7nm. Upcoming devices like AMD RDNA 3 The GPUs will use the 5nm process and TSMC working at 3 nm and 2 nm for future products.

However, chips in relatively low power devices such as screens, automotive computer systems, modems, microcontrollers or control ICs use cheap and reliable processes such as 28nm, 40nm and 65nm. Mature nodes make up a significant portion of the revenues of semiconductor companies such as TSMC.

Taiwanese company is extension capacity for 22nm and 28nm nodes, but senior vice president of business development Kevin Zhang said he does not do so for 40nm and older. Moving products to new nodes increases power and efficiency, but why use something more expensive when the old nodes are good enough for specific customer needs? Zhang said TSMC will work with other companies to drive the transition, but did not elaborate on how.