TSMC wants to start production with the 3nm process later this year

We mention Intel in connection with TSMC mainly because, according to its brand new CEO Pat Gelsinger, he would very much like to teach Apple a lesson for allowing herself to leave his arms and go her own way. Apple is supposed to be one of TSMC’s largest, if not the largest, customers in terms of the 3nm process.

It is also clear that the cadence of the start of new processes at TSMC in these years corresponds to Intel’s strategy, which he had to leave after failing to switch from a 14nm to 10nm process, and his 7nm will also be delayed. At the end of 2018, TSMC already had its N7 process at its disposal, which is currently widely used by AMD and is about to move to the current N5 launched last year, and today we learn that production with N3 is to begin this year. Of course, it will not yet be available with large capacities, however, it can still be said that the TSMC tended to accelerate its pace, as the N3 was not expected until 2022, and the question was whether it would not come until a year later.

We can judge this at least thanks to the report of the German server HardwareLuxx, according to which the production of the 3nm process TSMC N3 should start sometime sometime in the second half of this year and it can be said that the initial capacity will not be completely negligible, even though it will still be a classic “risc production” , ie initial production with an even high rate of defects. It is supposed to be a raid on the monthly output of about 30,000 wafers, and later next year the capacity will be expanded to 55,000, so that it will continue to grow to 20,000 per month by 2023.

Referenced German source It also states that, as in the case of TSMC ‘s 5nm process, Apple has already taken over most of the initial 3nm production for itself, gaining a significant advantage not only against Intel and AMD, but also against (at least) the vast majority of mobile chip manufacturers. But the question is, what will it use it for, because for the production of iPhones and iPads, the available 3nm capacity should not be sufficient this year.

The information originally came from the Digitimes server, which is generally well informed about TSMC’s plans and the latter also writes (paywall)that this year the capacity of the N5 process will also be expanded in its factories. At the end of last year it should have been about 90 thousand wafers per month and in the first half of this year it will be 105 thousand wafers, by the end of the year then 120 thousand and by 2024 TSMC wants to reach a capacity of 160 thousand wafers.

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Source: Svět hardware by www.svethardware.cz.

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