Apple’s chip partner TSMC plans to build a 2nm chip plant by 2023 – its most advanced chip plant

Taiwan’s Environmental Review Committee has approved TSMC’s (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) plan to build a 2nm chip facility in Hsinchu’s Baoshan township. It will be the most advanced chip plant to date.

Currently, TSMC is the only foundry in the world to produce chips built on 5nm process like the A14 Bionic chip for iPhone 12 series and M1 Apple Silicon used in new Mac and iPad Pro models. For their faster performance, power efficiency, and long battery life, both chipsets have enabled Apple to deliver industry-leading products.

TSMC- semiconductor shortage

In the Q3 2021 earnings report, Apple hit $81.4 billion in revenue with a 36% growth from the same quarter the previous year. With great customers response to iPhone 12, and to Mac and iPhone powered by M1 chip, the iPhone sales jumped by 50%, generating $39.6 billion in revenue in the June quarter with the largest number of switchers and upgraders in Q3 ever. In addition, iPad and Mac generated $7.3 billion and $8.2 billion respectively, making it iPad’s highest June quarter in a decade and as an all-time June quarter file for Mac.

Will Intel be able to beat TSMC’s new chip built on a 2nm process by 2025?

In the prevailing global chip shortage, Taiwan is providing automotive chips to the U.S, Germany, and Japan. To maintain the island’s strategic importance while TSMC expands offshore production, the government is supporting TSMC to keep the production of the most cutting-edge technology onshore. An official source told Nikkei Asia that;

“It is OK for TSMC to expand its overseas footprint, but from a geopolitical perspective it is very important for Taiwan to have TSMC building its most advanced technology [domestically]. We can’t hinder TSMC’s plans to stay ahead of the competition.”

The production of the new facility will start in early 2022 and the installation of production equipment by 2023. Located in Taiwan’s most important chipmaking hub, Hsinchu, TSMC will approximately require 98,000 tons of water a day. Although the manufacturer commits to using 10% recycled water by 2025 and 100% reused water by 2030, it missed its internal sustainability goals in 2020.

TSMC-iPhone 12 demand

Therefore, the Taiwanese government is ready to help the manufacturer to meet its environmental targets. ” Economics Vice Minister Lin Chuan-neng said at the environmental review committee meeting said:

“Semiconductor is one of the most crucial industries to Taiwan’s economic growth. The government will help TSMC to achieve its environmental targets while continuing to build the advanced technologies.”

This approval is given shortly after American semiconductor manufacturer, Intel announced 5 new sets of technologies to beat TSMC, Nividia, and other foundries by 2025. Intel has yet to deliver a processor which delivers performance and power efficiency like the M1 chip built on a 5nm process, let alone a 2 nm process.

The Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer, reportedly, will provide A15 Bionic chip for the upcoming iPhone 13 series, and M1X and M2 chips for Mac models built on a 5nm+ process. The company is also working on a chipset built on a 4nm process and a 3nm process. Sources claim that Intel and Apple will be the first companies to adopt the chip built on a 3nm process by 2022.

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Addicted to social media and in love with iPhone, started blogging as a hobby. And now it's my passion for every day is a new learning experience. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to use innovative solutions and we will keep on letting you know about them.

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