Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) held a beam-raising ceremony for a new 3nm wafer plant in Taiwan today. The event, attended by Taiwan’s Minister of Economy and other guests, saw TSMC President Dr. Mark Liu share key details of the company’s latest technology, a day after the industry was abuzz with reports that TSMC’s next-generation factory of 2nm chips. may be delayed. The executive told observers that according to his company’s estimation, the 3-nanometer process is not only a $1.5 trillion product, but its production rate is also equivalent to the 5-nanometer process technology.
TSMC boss confirms that 3nm will increase density by 60% and reduce power consumption by up to 35%
Today’s event was the first time TSMC celebrated the mass production of its manufacturing process, and it comes at a time when the company is not only facing an agonizing downturn in the industry, but also as critical voices in Taiwan raise questions about whether it plans to. Get out of the zone completely. TSMC held the party in Taiwan’s Tainan region, powering two 12-inch wafer chips from GIGAFAB.
Specifically, the event was held at TSMC’s Fab 18, adding another factor to the facility dedicated to producing 3nm chips. TSMC President Dr. Mark Liu shared that the clean room for each of these facilities is 58,000 square metres, which is twice the size of a typical Logic foundry.
He also confirmed that the 3nm process shows no yield problems, as the yield exceeded that of the 5nm process when it entered mass production. The CEO explained that in terms of performance, the chips created by the process will provide 60% more logic density and up to 35% lower power consumption (at the same frequency) than the 5nm process technology.
In addition, his estimate of the total value of the new technology, the money its products would be, was staggering, with Dr. Liu saying that according to TSMC’s estimates, 3nm will produce products worth a whopping $1.5 trillion. While his letter didn’t say how long that would take, a press release from TSMC mentioned the period as five years. TSMC still sells products made with technologies that first emerged in the late 1990s, and the 28nm technology released in 2011 still accounts for 10% of the company’s revenue.
Dr. Liu also provided details of TSMC’s 2nm plants. According to him, these will be built in Hsinchu and Taichung Science Parks, in six phases. Crucially, he stressed that all plants are progressing according to schedule. Comments in a report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News released in the early morning claimed that the 2nm plant in Taichung had been delayed.
This report shared that delays in the review process by the Taichung City Government and the appointment of a new director may delay the acquisition of land for the 2nm plant. The review was initially expected to take place in May next year, and Economic Daily shared concerns that the delay could also affect the 2nm mass production schedule.
TSMC aims to produce next-generation chips by 2025, and the first-phase Fabs are slated to go under construction next year. An official from the Department of Science and Technology shared that environmental planning should be completed in March, making it too late for the land to be delivered in May. The review was expected to take place later this month, but since the D.C. office has yet to take over, its timeline is now uncertain.