TSMC could not solve problems with 3nm process, AMD plans are under threat

The shortage of microchips in the world began at the end of 2020. It was most acutely felt in the automotive industry. Volkswagen, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, Nissan, General Motors and other companies were forced to cut production volumes due to the lack of microelectronic components. Also about the shortage of chips for the release of their products announced some manufacturers of smartphones - Samsung, Xiaomi and Realme.

Analysts attribute the shortage of chips with the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic. A large number of people around the world transferred to remote work, which has sharply increased the demand for personal computers and means of communication. Chip makers have refocused their capacity to meet the increased demand in this segment at the expense of reduced output for other customers, including automakers.

Representatives of high-tech companies, including China's Huawei and Taiwan's TSMC, the largest manufacturer of custom chips, said the reason for the global shortage of chips is U.S. sanctions against high-tech companies from China - Huawei, ZTE and others. On the one hand, these companies began to buy chips to make at least some stock of components for production. And on the other hand their competitors have also increased purchases of chips in order to produce more products to occupy vacant positions in the world market.

Many chip makers announced serious investments in the development of productions and creation of new ones against the background of global chip supply crisis. Governments of different countries also unfold programs to encourage the construction of new semiconductor factories to reduce dependence on imports of chips from South-East Asia. The U.S., China and the European Union have already announced such programs.

Chip makers take advantage of the situation to raise their prices.


Making a microchip

Making a microchip

Problems with the rate of yield on the production of 3 nm technology is experiencing the largest contract manufacturer of chips Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), February 21 reported the U.S. online edition of the computer technology Tom's Hardware, citing industry sources.

According to industry sources, problems with the yield of good products of N3 production have been continuing for a long time. If the company will not be able to solve them in the near future, major customers will have to revise plans for the timing of release of their products.

In this case TSMC itself does not report anything about the change of plans. In the last public statements it was stated that everything goes according to plan. Indirectly on the problems of mastering of 3 nm technology also indicates the appearance of the second technology - N3E, which implies a cheaper version of 3 nm production. To all appearances, it has worse density parameters.

It is noted that the percentage of yield of good products may affect the cost of products. The extra cost would be distributed unevenly among customers. Apple and Intel, which have made large upfront payments, would get a smaller surcharge, while customers like AMD would get a larger one.

Industry observers are already claiming that for CPUs on the Zen 5 microarchitecture and graphics on RDNA 4, AMD may opt for a 5nm process, rather than the 3nm as previously thought.

It is also reported that TSMC's main competitor Samsung has even more problems with the 3nm process. Samsung decided to use a new more complex GAAFET transistor design. This has become a big obstacle on the way of mastering the technology but it should accelerate the process of technology development once it has been mastered.

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