The imminent introduction of the first TSMC 3-nanometer chips by the world’s largest contract manufacturer for semiconductor products TSMC should be right on schedule. The previously planned intermediate steps with improved 5-nanometer processors are also on the schedule. It is now known who will be the first buyers.
As the Taiwanese industry service DigiTimes claims to have found out from its industry sources, TSMC is right on schedule with regard to the mass production of chips with a structure width of just three nanometers expected in the second half of 2022. The capacities for the production of 5-nanometer chips are also expected to be fully booked for next year.
Next iPhones with improved 5-nanometer chips
A part of the 5-nanometer capacity will in all probability be used in Apple’s SoCs in order to also manufacture the successor to the Apple A15 Bionic, which is used in the iPhone 13, with the same structural width. However, a new node called “N4P” is used, in which TSMC has revised and improved the manufacturing processes, it is said.
The next generation of iMac and iPad SoCs will be built on the basis of TSMC’s 3-nanometer chips, according to the report. Another key customer of TSMC for the upcoming N3 node with a structure width of three nanometers is allegedly Nvidia. However, the graphics chip specialist initially orders 5-nanometer GPUs from TSMC before Nvidia also switches over to 3nm.
From the second half of 2023, TSMC will then, at least according to the current schedule, introduce an improved version of its 3-nanometer production, which is known as the N3E. For this year and next, 5-nanometer chips are expected to remain the standard, so they will make up the majority of the Taiwanese chip giant’s sales.
Even after the start of the 3-nm mass production, the 5-nm chips are likely to be manufactured for many years to come.