TSMC’s 3nm node factory construction started last year and took a little over a year to complete. Now, the chip-making giant has recently confirmed its 3nm production node is on track for full mass production in the second half of 2022, according to Chinese tech site ItHome.
According to the company, the 3nm process will start small-scale trial production in the second half of 2021, and mass production will not begin until 2022.
TSMC to start mass production of 3nm chip in the second half of 2022
In August 2020, TSMC’s senior vice president Mi Yujie said that the company has plans to continue to provide essential node improvements until N3 and below. Compared to N5, the improvements are nothing grand, performance is only improved by 1.1-1.15 times, and power consumption is reduced by 1.25-1.3 times.
According to the report, the chip-making giant will continue to use FinFET fin field-effect transistors instead of transitioning to GAA wraparound structure field-effect transistors, unlike its competitor Samsung:
“TSMC N3 will continue to use FinFET fin field effect transistors instead of transitioning to GAA wraparound structure field effect transistors. This is different from Samsung, which has already stated that it will use GAA at the 3nm node.”
Samsung and TSMC are the only two companies that have the capacity to make chips with the 5nm process. However, according to recent reports, Samsung Electronics is trying to catch up with TSMC. In fact, the South Korean giant recently announced its plans to mass-produce 3nm chips in 2022.
Samsung Electronics executive Park Jae-hong recently stated that the company has set a goal to mass-produce 3-nanometer chips in 2022. Additionally, the Korean tech giant has just invested $116 billion in its next-generation chip business.
In the chip production business, Samsung Electronics currently ranks second. It is second only to TSMC which holds the top position with a 52% market share as of 2019. Apple is currently using TSMC to produce its 5nm A14 and M1 chips, and previous reports have said that the company might also work with Samsung Electronics to meet M1 production demand.
Considering that Apple is working with the only two foundries that have operational 5nm nodes, and are working on 3nm nodes, the Cupertino giant will also be planning to work with them for its 3nm Apple Silicon chips in 2022.