6 nm and 7 nm processors differ in terms of their features, characteristics and functionalities. Though the purpose of the two is the same, you may not get the same level of performance.
Most users are unaware of this fact because they are unaware of the differences between two processors in the first place, and it is not just shrinking the die size.
There are other major differences as well between the 6 nm and a 7 nm processor and if you, like others, are unaware about it this article will make you knowledgeable.
In This Article
- The density of the transistors in a 6 nm processor is higher than in a 7 nm processor which makes it a better performer in comparison.
- The speed of transferring data is more in the 6 nm processors as compared to that of a 7 nm processor.
- The 6 nm processors will consume less heat and will therefore generate less heat than a 7 nm processor.
The 5 Differences Between 6 nm and 7 nm Processor
1. Transistor Density
The density of transistors delivered by a 6 nm processor is supposed to be considerably more as compared to the 7 nm processors.
This adds to its overall performance. According to TSMC or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited the estimated density for 6 nm processors is 114.2 MTr/mmÂ².
On the other hand, the density of transistors delivered by the 7 nm processors is quite less, which, according to TSMC, is estimated to be 96.27 MTr/mmÂ².
2. Data Transfer Speed
The data transfer speed of the 6 nm processors is quite more as compared to the 7 nm processor.
This is because the size of the chip is smaller and therefore the transistors in a 6 nm processor are located more closely to each other allowing faster data transfer.
In comparison, the data transfer speed of the 7 nm processors is a bit higher due to the relatively large distance between the transistors.
3. Power Consumption
The transistors can switch between off and on or zero and one much easily by consuming less power in the process.
The power efficiency of the processor makes it more cost efficient than the 7 nm processor.
On the other hand, the 7 nm processors will relatively consume more power during the switching process as compared to the 6 nm processors, once again due to the distance between the transistors factor.
4. Heat Generation
Due to the less consumption of power by the 6 nm processor, these chips will generate less heat.
On the other hand, the 7 nm processors will generate much more heat relatively due to their higher power requirements.
5. PPA Improvements
In terms of Power, Performance and Area Reduction or in PPA achievement, the 6 nm processors seem to have done around 15% better in comparison to the 7 nm fabrication process.
Which is Better – 6 nm or 7 nm Processor?
Depending on the differences mentioned above, it can be said that the 6 nm processors are slightly better in a few specific aspects.
If you want to have a smaller device then this smaller chipset will fit in perfectly. The smaller size will not come at the cost of its performance.
One significant advantage of the 6 nm fabrication process is that most of the companies follow the same design rule as the 7 nm fabrication process.
This similar methodology helps the companies to make smaller improvements to the processor over time by using new techniques.
This also helps in developing the manufacturing process by the manufacturers of the processor without requiring making huge investments in costly research to create smaller nodes.
For example, in the case of manufacturing the 6 nm processors by the TSMC and AMD, they simply can transform the Zen 3 CPU architecture into a smaller node.
This will need much less cost and effort from their end than creating even smaller nm nodes such as 5 nm, for instance.
As a result, the 6 nm process is considered just as an evolution of the 7 nm fabrication process and is therefore easier for the companies to get started with this new fabrication process as compared with the other smaller manufacturing processes.
The new 6 nm node is also considered to be a bit better than the 7 nm fabrication process because it enables the manufacturers to leverage the new EUV or Extreme Ultraviolet lithography.
As for TSMC, this is a specific expertise they have achieved from their 7 nm+ process technology.
The 6 nm process technology is also better in the sense that it offers a much greater logic density improvement in comparison to the standard DUV 7 nm node, though the PPA improvements seem to be miniscule.
However, it maintains full design rule compatibility which offers a better PPA even with limited resources.
This design rule compatibility also enables reusing the comprehensive design ecosystem of the 6 nm processors such as the tool.
This will lower the development costs even further with much faster design cycle times.
To put it in another way, the 6 nm is more cost sensitive and a better optimized derivative of the 7 nm process.
Powered with better cores with higher clock speeds used by a few companies, the 6 nm processors are quite competent.
So, with all that said, this article surely has enlightened you about the differences between the 6 nm and 7 nm processors.
Now, when and if you have to make a choice between the two processors in the future, you will not make any wild guesses for it.