TSMC's technology for HPC device use to begin trial production in 2023

12/16/2021 04:13 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, said Thursday that an advanced technology specially tailored for use in high-performance computing (HPC) devices is scheduled to start production on a trial basis in the first half of 2023.

The N4X process is the first technology that TSMC has launched for use in HPC devices which is expected to serve as a driver of growth for the chipmaker's sales down the road, the company said.

According to TSMC, the N4X technology represents ultimate performance and maximum clock frequencies in the advanced 5-nanometer family. The "X" designation is reserved for TSMC technologies that are developed specifically for HPC products.

Compared with predecessor N5 processes, the N4X technology will offer a performance boost of up to 15 percent, TSMC said. The chipmaker added that the N4X technology was up to 4 percent faster than the previous N4P at 1.2 volts.

TSMC said the N4X process can achieve drive voltages beyond 1.2 volts and deliver additional performance, while its clients can also draw on the common design rules of the N5 process to accelerate the development of their N4X products.

"HPC is now TSMC's fastest-growing business segment and we are proud to introduce N4X, the first in the 'X' line of our extreme performance semiconductor technologies," Kevin Zhang (張曉強), TSMC's senior vice president of business development, said in a statement.

"The demands of the HPC segment are unrelenting, and TSMC has not only tailored our 'X' semiconductor technologies to unleash ultimate performance but has also combined it with our 3DFabric advanced packaging technologies to offer the best HPC platform," Zhang added.

On the local equity market, optimism regarding TSMC's outlook prompted investors to pick up its shares on Thursday, the date the stock went ex-dividend ahead of the payment of NT$2.75 (US$0.097) in cash dividends per share for its earnings recorded in the second quarter of this year.

Due to the strong buying that emerged soon after the market opened, TSMC shares returned to the stock's prior ex-dividend level, rising to NT$650.00, and its strength continued into the end of the Thursday trading session to close at NT$605.00, the day's high, on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The stock closed at NT$600.00 on Wednesday.

For companies in Taiwan that largely issue cash dividends annually, the ex-dividend date is the date on which a stock begins trading, minus the amount of the cash dividend to be paid out on the previous year's earnings.

Beginning in 2019, TSMC started to issue its cash dividend on a quarterly basis, instead of annually.

It was the fifth time TSMC has seen its shares return to their prior ex-dividend level on the ex-dividend date after the chipmaker began the payment of cash dividends on a quarterly basis.

The cash dividend payment has been scheduled for Jan. 13, 2022, when TSMC will issue a total of about NT$71.31 billion to its shareholders.

TSMC Chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) is expected to receive NT$35.51 million in cash dividends from his company based on his ownership of 12.91 million TSMC shares.

Meanwhile, the National Development Fund under the Executive Yuan, the largest shareholder of the chipmaker, is expected to pocket NT$4.547 billion in cash dividends as the fund owns about 1.654 billion TSMC shares.

(By Chang chien-chung, Han Ting-ting and Frances Huang)

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