TSMC to launch 3nm process in the second half of 2022

Taiwan-based TSMC has confirmed that it will be ready to launch mass production of 3-nm products in the second half of this year. The company will start supplying products based on the new process technology next year. It writes edition DigiTimes.

Image source: DigiTimes

 

"We expect the development of the N3 processor to be driven by demand from the high-performance computing (HPC) and smartphone industries. We see great customer interest in the N3 process and expect more N3-based products in the first year than the N5 and N7 processes," TSMC CEO C.C. Wei said at the company's April 14 earnings call.

The company plans to immediately reach a monthly processing capacity of 30,000-35,000 silicon wafers using the 3nm process.

In July 2021 the publication Nikkei Asia, citing industry sources said that Apple, one of the biggest customers of TSMC, is going to introduce in 2022 new versions of the iPad tablets, which will be built on 3-nm chips. A recent DigiTimes report also indicates that Apple will be the first company to use the 3nm chip process. However, the publication does not specify what chips are in question, and when they will be presented. It is expected that in 2023 the bulk of Apple products, including smart phones and Macs, anyway, will migrate to processors manufactured using the new TSMC N3 process technology. It will be used to build the new A17 Bionic processors for smartphones and M3 processors for Apple computers.

According to TSMC, the transition to 3nm process node will provide a 10-15% performance gain and 25-30% improvement in energy efficiency compared to 5nm technology.

The company also confirmed that it is moving to bring the N3E process, which is an optimized version of the N3 node, into mass production on the original timeline. TSMC said the new N3E process "will expand the N3 family of processes, allowing for higher chip production volumes and improved performance and energy efficiency.

 

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