TSMC announces plans for 2nm microprocessors, one day after Intel said it would catch up with competition

TSMC, currently the largest semiconductor supplier in the world, announces that it will produce 2nm chips starting in 2023, using production facilities already in the process of preparation. The announcement comes shortly after the public release of rival Intel, in which it stated that it could catch up and even surpass TSMC, in terms of manufacturing technologies used, sometime in the next four years.

Long stuck in the 14nm manufacturing process, Intel has just announced new plans to regain competitiveness, it involves both innovations in semiconductor manufacturing technology, and a rebranding campaign designed to replace the nanometer standard as a measure of miniaturization. manufacturing process, with something completely new.

If until now, the miniaturization of the manufacturing process was the main solution for obtaining more efficient and powerful microprocessors, by piling as many transistors in the same size of the silicon tablet, it seems that the classic solution is no longer the future.

For example, the A14 chipset used with iPhone 12 phones, designed by Apple and manufactured by TSMC, contains 11.8 billion transistors. But it is not much denser than an Intel chip of similar size, even if the 5nm manufacturing process is theoretically much more advanced than Intel 10nm, or 14nm solutions. Thus, TSMC’s labeling of the commercially promised 3nm manufacturing process for 2023, or the 2nm one announced on an experimental scale, at once no longer seems so convincing. In short, the “official” measurement refers to the size of the smallest functional elements in the chip of a microprocessor, largely ignoring the imprint of transistors or electrical paths that make up the vast majority of logic elements in the scheme of a state-of-the-art microprocessor.

Supporting these ambitions, TSMC announces building the most advanced factory semiconductor to date, in the region of the Taiwanese city of Hsinchu, specializing in 2nm chips, the new plant would be built starting in 2022, the installation of production equipment lasting until 2023. Separately, the Arizona plant of TSMC, expected to begin production in 2024, will deliver A and M series chips for Apple products.

The announcement comes just a day after Intel acknowledged that it was left behind by TSMC, especially through the delivery of microprocessors for Apple products, the company claiming that it will regain the status of leader in the semiconductor market, by 2025 at the latest.

Source: Go4IT by www.go4it.ro.

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