Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has announced that its chips manufactured on the 3nm fabrication process will arrive in 2023 and the ones based on the 2nm process will enter production by late 2025.
TSMC’s commercial 2nm chips to arrive by 2026
According to Nikkei Asia, the chipmaker made this announcement at the TSMC 2022 Technology Symposium where it also debuted a new technology that will be used to make the N3 and N3E chipsets called FinFlex.
The Taiwanese chip titan said its 2nm tech will be based on “nanosheet transistor architecture” to deliver significant improvements in performance and power efficiency. Nanosheet architecture is a completely different infrastructure from the Finfet infrastructure used for 5nm chips, currently the most advanced on the market. Such new tech requires massive investments to make available.
TSMC’s 2nm chips will enter risk production. By 2025, the chips will be in production, likely in the second half of the year or by the end of it.
“Our N2 development is on track, including new transistor structure and progressing to our expectation,” said Wei. “All I want to say is that yes, it is [in] the end of 2024 you will enter the risk production. In 2025 it will be in production, probably close to the second half, or you know in the end of 2025. That’s our schedule.”
It was recently reported that the A16 Bionic chip for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 14 lineup will continue to be based on TSMC’s 5-nanometer fabs. However, the tech giant wants to use a 3-nanometer processor for its 2023 Macs. Apple’s newly announced M2 chip is also built on the second-generation 5-nanometer technology with 25% more transistors than the M1 chip.
The publication says that while chips based on 3nm and 2nm fabrication processes are good news for Apple products, it is also important for the chipmaker as its competitors will start producing 3nm chips soon.
Intel has pledged to regain chip manufacturing tech leadership by 2025. The company first disclosed its 1.8nm technology — what it calls 18A technology — in mid-2021. This year, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said this tech is “six months ahead of schedule” and pushed ahead the timetable to the end of 2024.
Samsung said in April that it will produce 3nm chips by the end of June this year.
TSMC’s 2nm chips are away ways away from production. Even then, they won’t arrive in an iPhone for quite some time. Commercial 2nm chips will likely begin to hit the market sometime in 2026.