TSMC Begins Installation of 3nm Chip Manufacturing Facilities

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Efforts are afloat to make the technology more advanced with 2nm technology

Image Source – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) has begun the installation of 3-nm chip manufacturing facilities in its Fab 18 located in Tainan, Taiwan, as it tries to get ahead of rival Samsung Electronics. Samsung is also said to be aiming for chip production using the same technology next year.

The most advanced chip production tech being used for consumer products today is TSMC’s 5-nm technology, which is used for all iPhone 12 processor chips. At present, only TSMC and Samsung Electronics are manufacturing 5-nm chips.

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With the technology, the company’s monthly wafer output is estimated at 3,000-5,000 units at the 3 nm facility, as per reports. 

The company also said it is on track to developing its second-generation 3 nm process node for mass production of chips in 2023.

TSMC is planning to start the pilot production of 3-nm products this year and start the mass production next year. TSMC’s new 3nm technology will be used by clients like Apple, Qualcomm and AMD.

TSMC has claimed its 3-nm technology will be the world’s most advanced technology, adding that the 3-nm technology can increase computing performance by 10 per cent to 15 per cent compared with 5-nm while reducing power consumption by 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

TSMC is increasing the ratio of 5-nm product production as well. According to the company, those products accounted for 18 per cent of its sales and the ratio increased by four percentage points in the second quarter of this year. The current ratio of 7-nm and more advanced products is 49 per cent.

Race For 2nm 

With Intel’s foray into the foundry business, the fight has gotten tougher. Efforts are afloat to make the technology more advanced with 2nm technology.

Intel Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger said last week it aims to become the world’s top foundry player by 2025 by investing heavily in that business. Gelsinger said the chips to be produced for Qualcomm in 2024 will use the 2 nm process node under its roadmap called Intel 20A, intensifying the competition for advanced chip manufacturing technology.

TSMC too is accelerating the development of its 2-nm process technology. The Taiwanese government approved its 2-nm fab construction on July 28 and the construction is scheduled to be completed late this year. Mass production there is expected to commence in 2024.

Samsung Electronics, on the other hand, is still working on 3-nm processes. During its second-quarter earnings conference call last month, Samsung said it plans to start mass production of chips using its first-generation 3 nm process node next year.

TSMC is currently the biggest foundry player, controlling 55 per cent of the global market, followed by Samsung with a 17 per cent market share, according to market researcher TrendForce.

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