TSMC's 7nm Chips Hit Volume Production And Could Power Sony's PlayStation 5
Scuttlebutt has been going around for months now that suggest Sony could be getting ready to plop its next-generation game console onto the market this year. Other rumors have suggested that it might be several years out, 2020 to be exact, before the PlayStation 5 breaks cover. Sony is still selling PS4 consoles like gangbusters and it hasn't been long since the PS4 Pro launched making 2020 more likely. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has now announced that its 7nm CLN7FF chips have gone into volume production throwing more fuel on the PS5 rumor fire.
In a chat with AnandTech, TSMC president C.C. Wei said, "More than 50 products tape-outs have been planned by end of this year from applications across mobile, server CPU, network processor, gaming, GPU, PGA, cryptocurrency, automotive and AI. Our 7nm is already in volume production." These products are tipped to be primarily for gaming, though they will certainly find other uses, including the Snapdragon 855 SoC. TSMC's new manufacturing process hasn't been confirmed for the PS5 at this time, but there are indications that this is the hardware Sony has chosen.
This 7nm tech is expected to be used in next-gen AMD products, and AMD's APU is the chip powering the PS4 right now. That partnership has certainly been successful for Sony with the PS4 outselling the Xbox One handily so it would make sense for AMD tech to be used in the PS5. If these TSMC chips are used for the PS5, it opens the door for the next-generation gaming console to perform on a similar level as a gaming PC.
With the chips needed to power the PS5 in production right now, this could mean that dev units of the console could be ready soon. This doesn't mean that the console will land in 2018 as some rumors have suggested. The PS5 certainly won’t launch without some sweet games ready to launch along with it that take full advantage of the power offered. Development of suitable AAA titles for the launch of a new game console could certainly take years leading more credence to the 2020 launch rumor.