Is TSMC 3nm mass production coming? Performance and power consumption are significantly better than 5nm

On March 2, according to foreign media reports, Apple’s main chip supplier Taiwan semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is expected to start risk production of the 3nm manufacturing process in the second half of this year, when the fab will be able to process 30,000 chips made with more advanced technology. wafer.

According to reports, thanks to Apple’s order commitment, TSMC plans to expand the monthly production capacity of the 3nm process to 55,000 pieces in 2022, and will further expand production to 105,000 pieces in 2023.

According to TSMC, the 3nm process can improve performance by about 15% and power consumption by about 30% compared to the 5nm process. This means that the power consumption of the chip will be lower when the same performance is released. For the 5G technology that consumes a lot of power, it is indeed a very safe route to improve the chip technology to reduce the power consumption of the whole machine. It is no wonder that Apple will be so aggressive and take the lead in the 3nm of TSMC.

It was previously reported that TSMC will be ready to enter mass production in the second half of next year, suggesting that the 3nm production roadmap has not changed.

At the same time, TSMC plans to expand its 5nm process manufacturing capacity throughout this year to meet growing demand from key customers. According to today’s report, TSMC will increase the scale from 90,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 105,000 per month in the first half of 2021, and plans to further expand its process capacity to 120,000 in the second half of this year.

The source said that by 2024, TSMC’s 5nm process monthly production capacity will reach 160,000 pieces.

In addition to Apple, other major customers using TSMC’s 5nm process include AMD, MediaTek, Xilinx, Marvell, Broadcom and Qualcomm, the sources said.

The sources in the report said that the additional 5nm processing capacity is one of the main reasons for the recent decline in capacity utilization of the process. TSMC gives Apple priority over other customers, which is why orders from other customers need to be ramped up after iPhone chip orders have slowed seasonally.

Still, Apple’s orders for 5nm chips have reportedly remained steady overall, thanks to new orders for Apple’s ARM-based M1 processor and continued strong demand for the iPad Air powered by Apple’s A14 Bionic chip.

It is said that the A15 chip used in the new iPhone 13 series that Apple will launch this year will use a 5nm+ process technology, also known as N5P. TSMC’s N5P process is a performance-enhanced version of the 5nm chip used in the iPhone 12 series, which can bring additional energy efficiency and performance improvements, and may further reduce the power consumption of the whole machine, allowing the iPhone 13 to achieve a balance between thin and light body and battery life. better balance.

TrendForce believes that the A16 chip in the iPhone 14 in 2022 is very likely to be manufactured based on TSMC’s future 4nm process, which indicates that the new 3nm technology is likely to be used for the potential A17 chip (the iPhone 15 is expected to carry it). The company’s approach from previous years could potentially be used in other future Apple Silicon Macs.

 

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Author: Yoyokuo