The world's leading chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is getting closer to finalising a 3-nm process that could be used on Apple's A-series chips scheduled to be produced in 2022.
According to PatentlyApple, the firm is planning to conduct 3nm chips' risk production this year and start the mass production in the second half of 2021.
The company has also reportedly disclosed more details about the 3nm process. It says that compared with the 5nm process, new 3nm chips will offer a 10-15 per cent increase in performance, a 15 per cent greater transistor density, and a 20-25 per cent improvement in energy efficiency.
TSMC started mass production of cutting edge 7nm process two years ago, and this year, it is mass-producing the 5nm process. Most of TSMC's production capacity has already been pre-ordered by Apple and Huawei.
The iPhone maker took advantage of TSMC's 7nm for iPhone 11, and now it will use TSMC'S 5nm process for chips to be used in this year's iPhone 12.
TSMC has also reportedly made a breakthrough in 2nm processors and anticipates introducing 2nm chips by 2024. Notably, the firm has also started exploring nodes below 2nm.
Previously it was rumoured that the firm may abandon the FinFET transistor process at the 3nm node and will instead use GAA surround gate transistors. But, during an investors meeting in April, TSMC CEO Dr. Che-Chia Wei said that the firm will continue using FinFET transistor structure for 3nm process technology.
Wei also stated that TSMC's N5 (5nm process) technology was already in volume production with satisfactory yield rates. He also indicated that the foundry was expecting a "very fast and smooth ramp" of N5 in the second half of the year, thanks to strong demand for chips for mobile and high-performance computing products.
Just last week, the TSMC confirmed the plan to officially end its relationship with the Huawei, saying it would not supply chips to the Chinese tech giant after 14th September.
TSMC Chairman Mark told an investors conference last week that the company was no longer processing orders from Huawei to comply with the US export regulations.
On Thursday, the company posted its financial results for the second quarter, ending 30th June. The quarterly results surpassed analysts' estimates and also raised the firm's revenue and spending guidance for the year.
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