The main supplier for Apple, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is on schedule to start production of the 3nm fabrication process in the second half of the current year. The 3nm chips will be used in iPhone lineups or Apple silicon Macs. The chips will be packing 1.7 times the logic density of its 5nm node.
TSMC is expecting to produce 30,00 wafers in the second half of 2021. The Taiwan-based company also plans to increase its 3nm course of the capability to 55,000 models month-to-month in 2022 and can increase the output to 105,000 models in 2023.
TSMC on schedule to produce 3nm chips in 2022
A previous report hinted that TSMC will be ready to mass-produce in the second half of 2022. Now it seems the company is ready for risk production. Risk production is a term used when a foundry has carried out purely internal testing, and sincerely believes that it is now ready to try the process on customer designs to check whether those can be successfully manufactured or not.
According to the recent report by DigiTimes, the Taiwan-based company intends to upscale to 105,000 wafers monthly in the first half of 2021, up from 90,000 units in Q4 2020. The plans go further by expanding the processing capacity to 120,000 units by the end of this year.
TSMC’s 5nm process capacity will reach 160,000 wafers monthly by 2024, the sources indicated. In addition to Apple, other major customers using TSMC’s 5nm process manufacturing include AMD, MediaTek, Xilinx, Marvell, Broadcom and Qualcomm, the sources said.
It is claimed that one of the main reasons for a recent drop in capacity utilization rates for the process might be the additional 5nm processing capacity. Apple is given priority over clients by TSMC, and that could be a possible factor as to why there is a seasonal slowdown in iPhone chip orders.
Allegedly, Apple will use a 5nm+ A15 chip in its upcoming iPhone 13 lineup. 5nm+ is a “performance-enhanced version” of the 5nm chip present in the iPhone 12, it will deliver performance improvements and power efficiency.
If the company follows previous years, Apple will most likely use the new 3nm chips for a potential A17 chip and for other future Apple silicon Macs. It is also likely that the A16 chip in 2022 iPhones will be manufactured based on the manufacturer’s 4nm process.