A14 uses 5nm process. WOW

  • 5
    Does this um ... matter?
  • 1
  • 4
    People care way too much about the "nm" number these days.
  • 5
  • 9
    Is 5 nm long enough to make you excited?
  • 1
    @N00bPancakes yes. Even though there's no industry standard for feature size naming (eg. Intel 10nm means something else), you can generally compare within the same company tech. So TSMC 5nm will pack more transistors than TSMC 7nm in the same area, which is huge. It gives A14 a boost in terms of perf and perf per watt (I hear its the latter more this gen, but then energy efficiency is pretty much equal to performance after a threshold) and squeeze in faster cores, accelerators/coprocessors, GPU logic, and so on with the same silicon budget and/or power budget.
  • 3
    But doesn't tunneling happen around 6-8 or something

    Edit: I was spot on, google says 7nm
  • 1
    @RememberMe there is just one problem: tunnelling. Smaller process is not always better.
  • 5
    @iiii @AlgoRythm yes. But
    1. TSMC and Apple engineers aren't dumb, if they're spending the tens of millions (or more) that it takes to jump to such an incredibly advanced node, it's for better reasons than "because marketing said so".

    2. Sub 7nm theory has been around since like 2001, and prototype devices since then.

    3. Given just how long it takes to develop this and then processors based on this, the fact that Samsung and TSMC are both in volume production of 5nm chips means that they've had the ability to do 5nm and customers like Apple and Nvidia and AMD and Marvell and all buying into it for at least two years.

    4. They've reported higher transistor densities and efficiency. Sure it takes much more effort because of tunneling, but there are overall gains. Heck Samsung and TSMC are working to commercialize 3nm.

    Just look up what all they've managed to cram into the A14, that's definitely a plus.
  • 2
    @RememberMe true, there's a gain but it's not like "less numba - gain bigga". That's marketing.
  • 3
    @iiii eh? That's literally what it is. 5nm -> more transistors -> more resources to do stuff -> gains in performance, efficiency, or both.

    They're marketing this as an improvement over 7nm. It is. Heck according to some reports it actually has a lower defect rate than 7nm.

    This is how the hardware industry grew when Moore's law was in full force - not all that much architectural innovation, but just because process engineering could make smaller and faster transistors every cycle you could just throw more things into the chip every year and it'd magically be better (of course there were architectural improvements too, but still).
  • 1
    I miss yearly clock rate improvements.

    The chio manufacturers shoukd really be engaging with OS makers more because the biggest danger to their markets isnt competition: its bad management at apple, google, and microsoft.
Add Comment