TSMC to Start Mass Production of 3nm Chips From 2022

TSMC, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of chips and Apple’s main supplier, has announced that it is on track to begin risk production of its 3-nanometer fabrication process in the 2nd half of 2021. The chipset will enter the mass production phase by 2nd half of 2021.

According to the report, the company will start the process with a capacity to process 30,000 wafers. However, to keep up with Apple’s demands, it plans to expand its 3nm process capacity to 55,000 units monthly in 2022 and will further scale up the output to 105,000 units in 2023.

Meanwhile, the chipset manufacturer will also increase the 5nm process manufacturing capacity throughout the year to meet increasing demands from its major customers. Reportedly, it is planning to upscale to 105,000 wafers monthly in the first half of 2021, up from 90,000 units in fourth-quarter 2020.

This is being done to keep up with Apple’s requirements. Cupertino will allegedly use a 5nm+ A15 chip in its forthcoming iPhone 13 series.

Some sources familiar with the matter said,

TSMC’s 5nm process capacity will reach 160,000 wafers monthly by 2024, the sources indicated. In addition to Apple, other major customers using TSMC’s 5nm process manufacturing include AMD, MediaTek, Xilinx, Marvell, Broadcom, and Qualcomm.

As far as the 3nm process chips are concerned, they will be built on top of FinFET transistors unlike Samsung’s structure called GAA. With the 3nm process, TSMC is hoping to achieve 30% lower power consumption and 10-15% better performance. The logic area will be scaled 1.7 times, which will make 3nm chips 58% smaller than the previous generation.

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